Relay shifts to day format

Vernon’s Relay For Life will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 6

Vernon’s Relay For Life event is moving into daylight for the first time ever.

Normally held overnight for 12 hours, this year’s event will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 6 at the Polson Park oval.

Organizers hope this new daytime format will encourage more individuals and families to come out and experience the magic that is Relay For Life.

“We encourage you to get involved with relay; experience the celebration, remember those who have lost their battle, and fight back for a world without cancer,” said Jennifer Harbaruk, community giving coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society.

“Our event will hook you in and will keep you coming back.”

This year’s theme for teams and individuals planning to take part to keep in mind is similar to that of the just-finished Vernon Winter Carnival: “Rock ‘n’ Roll Relay: KISS Cancer Goodbye.”

Each year, Relay For Life participants from across Canada come together to celebrate the lives of those who have overcome cancer, remember loved ones lost and empower individuals and communities to fight back against the disease.

Harbaruk has her own personal story.

Her daughter Lizzie, now six, was diagnosed with Bilateral Wilms’ Tumor in 2010.

She has been through treatment twice, the most recent ending in March of last year.

Harbaruk also has many ties to Vernon through her aunt and uncle (Dave and Pat Helm), and her cousins who live and work in Vernon, Lumby and Kelowna.

“I’m passionate about the community and I’m looking forward to celebrating Relay in Vernon,” she said.

The 2014 Vernon Relay For Life committee, participants, sponsors, survivors and volunteers knocked it out of the park.

The 2014 event saw 266 participants on 44 teams raise $53,961.

The Top five fundraising teams were: Loops With Patty – $4,628; Silver Star Ski Resort – $3,813; On The Right Path – $3,305; Vernon Kia – $2,845 and Cancer Conquerors – $2,600.

The Top five fundraisers were Devin Knopf, Consie Severson, Sarb Tatla-Low, Sylvie Stevenson and Curt Jensen.

The 2015 Relay For Life committee has already started meeting.

“This year we are looking for more people to make this event even better,” said Harbaruk.

“Volunteers are the key to our success and the Vernon Relay is looking for help. I’m happy to say that many of our 2014 committee members have agreed to join us again in 2015 and I’m excited to work with such an eager, committed group.

“We still have some roles to fill and encourage members of the community to join us in this fun and worthwhile endeavor. We have something for everyone, whether you have a lot or a little time to give.”

For event details or more information, contact Harbaruk at vernonrelay@bc.cancer.ca, phone (250) 819-0906 or visit relayforlife.ca/vernon.