The Central Voice
Lewisporte — A shortage of volunteers in Lewisporte could mean dire things of the town’s annual Relay for Life event.
The organizing committee is having trouble finding people to help take the reins of the event after the chairperson was forced to step away for this year for health reasons.
Further to that, the group’s co-chairperson, Allison Harvey-Moyles, has had to scale back her role due to family reasons and can't commit to organizing the relay.
They’ve been actively trying to find a replacement, but the search has yet to yield anyone willing to take on the project. In addition to role of chair, the group would also like to see a co-chair come on board to help.
“Last year, we were able to pull off the relay with just a handful of volunteers,” said Harvey-Moyles. “It was challenging.”
Still, they were pleased with the results. The Lewisporte event raised about $14,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society in 2019.
The Relay for Life is an annual Cancer Society fundraiser that takes place in thousands of communities across the country.
People make pledges, give donations and walk up to 12 hours as a way to give back to the society, remember those who have died because of cancer and those who have survived the illness.
“It is one thing to donate but seeing (the relay) makes it so much more real,” said Harvey-Moyles. “This is a chance to watch everybody fight for them.”
The difficulty in finding volunteers has put the status of the Lewisporte relay in doubt. The window for securing a site and arranging other items is swiftly closing.
Getting relay volunteers has always been a problem in the town.
Three years ago, the event was shelved because the majority of the organizing committee stepped away leaving just one person.
Organizers managed to revive the relay over the next two years. But it’s not looking good for this year.
Normally, planning would have started by now. It’s feared that if Lewisporte doesn’t hold a Relay for Life this year that it might not return.
There are relays in both Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor — a half hour’s drive in either direction — and townspeople could easily choose to go to either of them.
“It takes a special person with a special heart to do this role,” said Harvey-Moyles.