Wairarapa Relay for Life 2021
We aren’t about to let Covid -19 beat us says, Wairarapa Cancer Society Manager Jacinta Buchanan . The people we support and represent have coped with cancer this year and that is a crisis personal to them. For 36 years the Cancer Society has supported those diagnosed with cancer and those receiving treatment. Cancer Society doesn’t receive any direct government funding, so relies on the support and generosity of this Wairarapa community to raise funds to continue its work.
Organisers of Wairarapa Relay for Life 2021 have been given a big boost ahead of the Christmas break with confirmation of a $16,000 grant from the Trust House Foundation.
The biennial event is the major fundraiser for the Wairarapa Cancer Society with all money raised staying in the region.
Wairarapa Cancer Society Manager Jacinta Buchanan says ,
“We are delighted to have Trust House support us again for 2021 as 2020 has proved to be a difficult year for all of us, with the pandemic Covid -19 outbreak preventing any fundraising that required physical contact.
Wairarapa Cancer Society intends to continue with a Virtual event should the pandemic alerts go back up to 3 or higher. Extra costs associated with that turn around will be met by this grant.
“The event has a proven track record of bringing the community together for what is such an important cause. Relay For Life is a chance for communities to recognise and celebrate those who have overcome cancer or are undergoing treatment, as well as the people who care for them. The event also provides an opportunity at dusk to celebrate the memory of loved ones lost to cancer at the Candlelight service.
Starting at 4pm on the Saturday afternoon and running through to 8am the following morning, it involves teams walking or running around a track, relay style. Each team picks a themed name and outfits to match and they use beautiful bespoke hand- made wooden battens kindly donated by the local Greytown woodworkers guild . Laps are timed and prizes given, with activities and fun all night long !
The 12 hr relay mirrors a journey with cancer ie… diagnosis – when the light is fading into dark , then begins treatment . In the small hours of the morning walking to rememberhow hard it all is and then the dawn wakens the world and once through treatment we realise that hope and light at the end of this journey are depicted in the tiredness but also the feeling of having survived and conquered.
Among some of the other corporate sponsors, Property Brokers is a foundation supporter having brought the event to New Zealand from the USA more than 20 years ago.
The 2021 event is scheduled for the weekend of March 20-21st , at the A&P Clareville Showgrounds.
Mrs Buchanan says they are targeting to raise $80,000 from Relay for Life 2021
“It’s our biggest fundraising event that carries the Society’s work through for two years.”
All the money raised stays in the Wairarapa region and sustains Cancer Society support service programmes, welfare and health promotion initiatives such as the Fresh Air Project .
Planning for the 2021 event got underway in October 2020 with a 10-person committee “working hard” to pull it all together. Susan McWilliam the Chairperson of the 2021 event is a survivor herself and a past Chairperson of the Executive Governance group for the Wairarapa Society.
She knows as well as anyone that cancer can affect anybody, sometimes when you least expect it .
The previous 8 events have involved around 500 entrants spread across about 40 teams. “We already have about 22 teams confirmed.” Says Vanessa _ Jayne Hunt the Coordinator of the event .
Worldwide, more than five million people take part in a Relay For Life event every year.
Relay For Life is a fun event with every team bringing its own special energy by creating campsites, caravans or campervans and enjoying the free entertainment and each other’s company for a great cause !
Register online at www.relayforlife.org.nz