It will be a night of inspiration at the Civic Auditorium in Estevan on June 7 and 8, as participants, cancer survivors and volunteers will congregate for Estevan's Relay for Life.
Event chair Elva Iwanchuk said the relay will begin with pre-event entertainment at 6:30 p.m. on the 7th, and opening ceremonies will be at 7 p.m. The ceremonies will feature speeches from relay committee members, community leaders and cancer survivors, including honourary event chair Marlene Gaudry.
Cancer survivors will then walk the relay's opening lap. They will be joined by their caregivers for the second lap, and then all of the relay's participants for the third lap. Participants will continue to walk the track throughout the night, pausing for the luminary ceremony at 10:30 p.m.
The luminary ceremony will pay tribute to those who are currently battling cancer, or those who have passed away due to the disease.
The relay will also feature silent and live auctions, and entertainment from local performers. The always-popular Mr. Relay competition will be at 2 a.m.
A Fight Back ceremony will be at 4:30 a.m. on the 8th. Speakers will discuss the need to continue the fight against cancer.
Breakfast will be served for the participants, and then the relay will wrap up at 7 a.m. with the closing ceremonies and the victory lap.
“Hopefully we keep everybody awake and walking all night,” said Iwanchuk.
Relay organizers hope the event will have a blended indoor-outdoor track this year; the outdoor track would be to the east of the Civic. The committee planned to have such a set-up last year, but those plans were scuttled by rain.
Iwanchuk said most of what they need is in place, but volunteers are still needed. Helpers will be needed on June 4 and 5, and all day on the 6th and 7th. They also need assistance during the relay, and after the relay is finished.
“If there's anybody out there who could volunteer a little bit of time, that would be greatly appreciated,” said Iwanchuk.
Twelve teams have registered thus far, so they already have more teams than what they had last year. One other team has taken out a registration package, but has yet to sign up.
The fundraising goal is $80,000, which would be a significant improvement from the $60,000 that the relay raised locally each of the last two years. There have already been many fundraisers in the community, including the Mini Relay for Life at the Bienfait Weldon School.
Iwanchuk wants to see many people who aren't involved in the relay turn out for the event as well.
“Hopefully one day we cannot (have anyone) hear those words that 'You have cancer,' and we can find a cure for cancer,” said Iwanchuk.