Relay For Life expects record numbers to help the fight against cancer

THE team behind Warrnambool’s Relay For Life is inviting the community to stay up all night celebrating, remembering and fighting back.

The overnight event is designed to recognise cancer survivors and loved ones lost to cancer and fight back against the disease.

Warrnambool Relay for Life has raised $1.5 million since 2003 thanks to year-round fund-raising building to the main annual event, this time on February 7 and 8 at Deakin University’s oval.

The group’s chairwoman Fran Hynes said she was expecting a possible record-breaking number of attendees this year.

“We currently have 54 teams registered,” she said.

“We normally have more than 1200 participants.”

Team members take turns to keep a baton moving overnight in a relay-style walk or run.

Mrs Hynes said the event was not just about raising much-needed funds for the Cancer Council.

“It’s multi-faceted. Yes some people go purely to show support for a family member or friend going through cancer, but the education side of it is huge,” she said.

“It’s another vehicle for us to promote ways of cutting cancer risk and promoting programs the Cancer Council runs.”

For the first time in Warrnambool there will be an official Fight Back tent with information about cutting cancer risk.

“There will be somebody there from the Red Cross Blood Bank, AquaZone are coming and a diabetes educator from St John of God,” Mrs Hynes said.

She said Relay For Life was often an emotional and therapeutic experience.

“To attend the candlelight ceremony is a really valued and important part of it and everyone is there with their own reasons.”

The theme for 2014 is “circus”, which will be marked with circus-type entertainment throughout the evening as well as live music.

The event will begin at 6.30pm with an opening ceremony, the first lap and a survivors and carers function at 7pm. The candlelight ceremony is at 9.30pm and a closing ceremony at 1pm Saturday.

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