Whether it’s a five-month or a five-year survivor, all those who have conquered cancer are superheroes in the eyes of the world.
To celebrate, the North Okanagan will honour all its hometown heroes at the Relay for Life June 2 and 3.
The event, which is appropriately themed Superheroes, runs for 12 hours, from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday in Polson Park.
It is kicked off with the often emotional, but also inspiring, victory lap of cancer survivors.
“They open the whole event,” said Jennifer Dies, relay co-ordinator with the Canadian Cancer Society, encouraging all cancer survivors to register and celebrate life. “All the teams line the track and applaud them as they go around.”
The victory lap event also acts as an inspiration to all those who are currently battling cancer.
“For the person who was diagnosed last week that’s pretty significant,” said Dies, of seeing all those who have battled and beat the disease make their lap.
Teams taking part in the relay have been busy raising funds, which are hoped to one day find a cure for cancer and one day pack the track with survivors.
“That’s the hope,” said Dies.
Team fundraisers prior to the relay include:
n Endless Summer Beachwear bikini car wash today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. By donation, with coupons for free pizza being handed out for Monashee’s Bar & Grill.
n Lympomaniacs are collecting empty cans and bottles, which can be dropped off at 1207 28th Ave.
The relay also pays tribute to those who have lost their fight against cancer with a special luminary ceremony at twilight.
Luminaries (candles in specially decorated bags) are placed around the track bearing names of loved ones lost as well as survivors. They can be purchased for $5 online at www.relaybc.ca or at the event.
The luminaries also provide light and inspiration to participants all night long.
This year, those purchasing luminaries are asked to also bring along a non-perishable canned good to use as the weight of the bag. Then in the morning all of the canned food will be collected and delivered to the Salvation Army food bank.
“We are really excited about this – it was done in another community last year, and it was a wonderful success,” said Dies of the food donations last year in Salmon Arm that delivered a truck load of goods to the food bank. “It’s such a win-win.”
There is still room for more teams to take part in the event.
“Our goal for Vernon is 50 teams and we’re definitely still looking for more,” said Dies. “We’re hoping to see a sea of yellow shirts.”
Activities will be running all night with a focus on the reality TV show Minute to Win It, where prizes will be awarded.
“It will be a fun spin on things,” said Dies.
And of course everyone is encouraged to dress up in the Superhero theme – whether it be a fictional comic book superhero or their own real life superhero.
All of the funds raised through the relay are used to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of Canadians living with cancer.
Last year Vernon raised $161,000 – the second highest fundraising community in the southern Interior region. So far this year, the event has raised just over $31,000.
To register, donate, volunteer or for more information, visit www.relaybc.ca, call 250-542-0770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org