Grade 4 to 8 students at Weldon School in Bienfait raised $5,390 for Relay for Life as they hosted the sixth annual Mini Relay for Life on May 30.
Students raised the money from May 26 to 30 as they put on many fundraisers: they included a freezie sale, hat day, pajama day, a cotton candy sale with a noon hour dance, and many more. They also had a raffle draw for quilts.
There was at least one fundraiser that happened every day of the week, and each class had a fundraiser, according to Mini Relay co-chairs Kelsey Pastachak and Jasmine McKnight.
Both students were encouraged to take on the roles of co-chairs because they like to speak in front of a group of people.
Before the Mini Relay started, there were speeches from the co-chairs, as they reflected on what they did throughout the week. They learned more about cancer and discussed topics related to it: physical activity, sun safety, healthy eating and smoking prevention.
Canadian Cancer Society representative Roberta Yergens was at the Mini Relay. She thanked the students of Weldon for participating.
Estevan Relay for Life event chair Elva Iwanchuk also spoke. She said that the students have done an amazing job.
Cancer survivors were a featured part of the Mini Relay. Students were asked to invite a cancer survivor that they know to attend.
Among the many survivors in attendance was 10-year-old Gabriel Reaume from Regina. He was the Mini Relay's honourary chair. Two years ago he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer of the lung typically caused by asbestos exposure.
He said that he’d never been exposed to asbestos, so no one knows how he got the cancer. In June 2012 he had is right lung removed. Since then, he has had six surgeries, and a year of chemotherapy.
Cancer survivors walked the opening lap. Then they were joined by a family member for the second lap, and the rest of the participants for the third lap.
Other activities during the mini relay included a talent show, a pie toss contest involving teachers, a Timbit eating contest, and a luminary ceremony.
Grade 8 teacher and vice-principal Nina Lonsberry said she was proud of the students and the overall work they put into the mini-relay.
"The kids ran this solely, so it’s an amazing experience for them," said Lonsberry.
Members of Team Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS), who guided the Weldon student during the planning process, said that the students were well organized and they were set up in time for the Mini Relay, which hasn’t happened before.
"I don’t think there was ever one kid who wasn’t helping out and eager to learn and stuff like that," said Team ECS co-chair Jacqueline Peeace.
A student representative from Weldon School will be at Estevan's Relay for Life on June 7 to present the money that they’ve raised.