© Paul Hutchings
Nine-year-old Gabe Ball walks on stilts for cancer during Deer Lake’s Relay for Life over the weekend along with his mom, Randi Ball, at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex.
DEER LAKE One hundred participants including 80 cancer survivors came out to support Deer Lake’s Relay for Life at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex.
With names like A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts and Barbie’s Juney Bugs, teams consisting of ten or more members walked around the stadium listened to entertainment and generally seemed to have fun while raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society.
The time for this year’s event was changed to a start time of noon and ending at midnight. Last year saw an overnight event, running from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
“We wanted to make it more of a family event this year,” said organizer David Fever. “We also added more family-friendly events and more people can stay when it runs until midnight and not the next day.”
Most people at the relay seemed to have family reasons for taking part. Heidi Anderson traveled from Grand Falls, and was thinking of her father.
“My dad died of prostate cancer when I was 12, it was awful going through it,” she said. “I had to come out to support others that are going through this.”
Deer Lake’s Shirley Brophy was on the team, A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts. She said they knew someone with a brain tumor, which is where the team name came from.
“People call the head a coconut, so we went with that,” she said. “It’s great to see that so many people have come out to support this.”
Some wore costumes, and Georgina Jones of Deer Lake proudly showed off the boxing gloves she wore as a pun on the day’s purpose.
“I’m wearing the gloves, we’re fighting cancer,” she said with a smile. “Everyone here has someone they know that has cancer or is being affected by it, I don’t know if they’ll find a cure but I really hope they do.”
Fever marveled at the enthusiasm, as colourful displays were set up and a walking track was cordoned off around the skating rink. He said he himself has also had family members suffer from cancer and that it was great to see so much empathy being displayed by all of the participants.
“Everyone has been affected by this and it’s great to see so many coming out to support what we’re doing here,” he said.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Cancer Society.