Estevan's Relay for Life is still three months away, but its organizing committee has been working to promote the event.
The annual launch was held March 2 at the Estevan Shoppers Mall. Representatives from the committee and the Canadian Cancer Society spoke about the Relay's impact. People also participated in a walk through the mall to promote the Relay.
Margaret Hill, who is the manager of the Canadian Cancer Society's Southeast Unit, told the crowd that the Relay is the signature event for the society, and it generates 48 per cent of the Saskatchewan unit's revenue.
"But Relay for Life is so much more than a fundraising event," Hill said. "It's a life-changing experience that brings together over 200,000 people across Canada each year in the fight for life, the fight against cancer."
Hill noted that Estevan is the only Relay in Saskatchewan that boasts a committee like as Team ECS (Estevan Comprehensive School). It's a group of students that promotes the Relay and the Mini Relay for Life.
"Don't ever stop involving your students; they are a great resource," Hill said.
This year's Relay will take place from 7 p.m. on June 8 to 7 a.m. on June 9 at the Civic Auditorium. They'll have a track inside the Civic, and one outside, to the east, for those who want to walk outdoors.
Local Relay co-chair Patrick Fisher said there has been an excellent response this year. Six teams have already registered; the goal is to have 20. They want to raise $110,000 for the cancer society.
"I'm really looking forward to this year," said Fisher. "I think it's going to be fantastic."
Several other speakers were at the launch. Several members of the Workout Warriors discussed their reasons for participating in the Relay each year since the Relay's local inception in 2006. They said Relay allows them to support cancer survivors, as well as their friends and family affected by cancer. They also get to raise money for a cure, build camaraderie and lasting friendships, and inspire others.
Team recruitment co-chairs Alanna and Michelle Dickie said it's easy to assemble a team, as they can gather friends, family, co-workers, cancer survivors and others.
Mary Antonenko from the survivor committee said she didn't realize everything that the Relay did until she was diagnosed with cancer.
"I was astonished by the support services made available to me, through the cancer society, right from my very first appointment at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre," said Antonenko. "A lot of those services, the reason that we have them, and they're available to us, is because of funding from the Relay for Life. So to me, Relay is all about hope."