Osoyoos Relay for Life to be held at new site on new date in 2014

By on February 12, 2014
Chantal Reems (left) will be helping with Relay for Life events in Osoyoos. She spoke last Thursday at the lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Osoyoos and is shown with club President Brian Rawlings. (Keith Lacey photo)

Chantal Reems (left) will be helping with Relay for Life events in Osoyoos. She spoke last Thursday at the lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Osoyoos and is shown with club President Brian Rawlings. (Keith Lacey photo)

There will be a new site and new date for the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life event in Osoyoos, but the woman leading the organizing committee is hoping for the same great community support.

Chantal Reems, who was hired four months ago by the Canadian Cancer Society, said a big part of her job in the next few months will be helping to organize the Relay for Life events in Osoyoos and Penticton.

Traditionally, the Osoyoos Relay for Life has been held on the third Saturday in June and it has been held at Gyro Park for the past three years.

The date for this year’s event will be Saturday, June 7 and it will be held in the infield behind Osoyoos Elementary School, said Reems.

There is much more space behind the elementary school than there has been at Gyro Park and she also felt moving the event earlier in June would attract more participants and receive even better community support, said Reems, during a presentation to the Osoyoos Rotary Club at its weekly meeting last Thursday.

“It was my sole decision to move the event to the elementary school,” said Reems. “I met with a lot of the committee members and many of them were tired and weren’t ready to come back.

“So I had to make a decision on where we would hold the event and I decided to make the move behind the Sonora Centre. We eventually want to move back to Gyro Park in the future once the planned expansion of that park is finished, but it was very small down there and I thought it would be a good move to bring the event to a new location where there’s a lot more space.”

Moving the event to the first weekend in June from the third was made for numerous reasons, she said.

“The third week in June just wasn’t working for a number of reasons,” she said.

Because this is the 10th anniversary of the Relay for Life in Osoyoos, those remaining committee members want to make this year’s event something special and have set a target of raising $50,000, said Reems.

Because cancer shows no boundaries and affects so many people, Reems said she has set a personal goal to get more participants from the local First Nation and East Indian community to participate in this year’s event.

“I will be trying to incorporate more minorities … and I will be talking with the Osoyoos Indian Band and the local East Indian community to try and have them involved,” she said.

Participants normally have to pay $20 to participate, but that will be chopped in half to $10 if they sign up for this year’s event before the end of March.

All “early bird” registrants will automatically have their name entered into a draw to win a new tablet.

There will once again be prizes for the team that shows the most community spirit and raises the most money, said Reems.

There will also be live entertainment and events held throughout the day to keep children occupied and happy if they show up to support their parents in the Relay for Life.

The Relay for Life has raised just over $305,000 in the nine years it has been held in Osoyoos and Reems is confident the $50,000 target set for this year’s 10th anniversary can be attainted.

“The committee is super excited about the many changes and we want to put together a super awesome event this year,” she said.

The Relay for Life remains largely dependent on volunteers helping organize the event and run things once the relay starts, as well as setting up and tearing down the site and anyone wishing to volunteer will be more than welcome to get involved, she said.

“We need volunteers … but they won’t need to dedicate any more than one or two hours per week” getting ready for the June 7 event, she said.

More than 87 per cent of money raised through fundraising ventures like the Relay for Life go directly to providing services for cancer patients and research, said Reems.

In 2012, the cancer society spent $5 million to support 260 lead researchers and 700 students and fellows to carry out 310 research projects and $71 million in programs and services to meet the needs and demands and people living with cancer and their caregivers and to provide information.

To register your team for this year’s event, go online and visit www.relayforlife.ca.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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