MEGAN LANE / BRANDON SUN
Cancer survivors take the first lap at the annual Relay for Life event at the Sportsplex Track on Saturday evening.
More than 300 participants persisted through a cold, rainy night for Brandon’s Relay for Life at the Sportsplex this weekend.
"When you put it into perspective the countless chemo and radiation treatments that a cancer patient goes through, this spitting rain pales in comparison," said leadership chair Jeremy Foidart.
The annual event saw 11 returning teams and 24 new teams participating in the 12-hour relay. All money raised by the teams goes to the Canadian Cancer Society to help fund cancer research across the country.
"As a science student, it is always cool to do an event that promotes research," said Brandon University student Kendra Elliott. "I have not lost anyone too close to me thankfully, but I still think Relay is important."
The over night event always begins with a survivor lap. Cancer survivors wearing yellow shirts walked the track carrying flags.
After the survivor lap, all participants could begin their walk. For $5 they could buy a string and collect one bead for each lap they walked throughout the event.
Several teams got dressed up for the occasion, including the Purple Perennials wearing metallic purple wigs and selling cupcakes to increase their fundraising.
The Canadian Cancer Society confirmed late Sunday the event raised $93,000 so far, but organizers were still tallying the final numbers. Last year’s event raised around $60,000 with a similar number of participants, Foidart said.
"Having 35 teams raise that much money is tremendous. Every penny counts," Foidart said.
I Love Boobies was the highest fundraising team with more than $10,000.
The 12-hour event included a watermelon eating contest, an amazing race challenge and Brandon’s Got Talent. All the activities were planned and put on by the entertainment committee.
The Relay for Life committee consisted of approximately 20 members.
"Without these dedicated individuals that put their blood, sweat and tears into this relay, it would not happen every year," Foidart said. "We are excited that one of our members has been recognized internationally."
Anne Brolund has been on the relay committee for a number of years. She is a cancer survivor that inspires us to work even harder to make this event happen each year, said Foidart.
Brolund was nominated by the committee the year before for the Hero of Hope Award. They were informed in January that she would be the recipient.
Foidart said he was impressed and proud of Brolund and the rest of the committee for being able to put on such a meaningful event each year.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 16, 2014