IT was an emotional finish to the Corangamite Relay for Life as 300 balloons were released into the sky at Cobden’s Recreation Reserve yesterday morning.
On the surface, an entire weekend dedicated to talking about cancer and remembering those it has claimed might sound gloomy and perhaps even depressing.
But for those there for loved ones — either standing alongside them or in their memory — camping out on the reserve together offered a night of strength.
More than half a million dollars has been raised by the Corangamite Relay for Life group in four years, including $104,000 raised just over the weekend.
“We had 36 teams, it was hot but it all went really well,” committee chairwoman Trish Wynd said.
About 1800 people turned out for the event.
Those who woke up early enough got a chance to participate in a short boot camp and racing sprints were included throughout the day.
There was also a lighter side to the event with some men hopping into a dress and opening their purses for donations.
As the relay drew to a close on Saturday evening, candles were lit around the reserve.
“It’s a big deal for people to come out and bare their soul,” Ms Wynd said.
“It’s about awareness. Our community has certainly been hit by cancer.
“It’s affected my family.”
Already 14 teams have signed up for next year’s relay in Timboon.