By Lori Bradish
It all started with the return of a volunteer favour.
For a number of years I organized the local half marathon race. As with any event like this it takes an army of volunteers to run. Being avid runners my friend Tannis and her husband Pete volunteered to help register participants for the race three years ago.
Of course, being a good friend, I said I would return the volunteer favour.
Tannis is a cancer survivor. A close mutual friend tells me she is the longest surviving bone marrow transplant recipient in Canada. Her experience led her to the Relay for Life event when she moved to Fernie. And she led me to the Relay for Life committee when I wanted to return the favour.
For the past two years I have been responsible for organizing the entertainment during the Elk Valley’s Relay for Life. What I found while doing this job, besides my stereotypical take on artist types, was that the people around our committee table are as diverse as you can get. Some are older than me, some younger. Some have first-hand knowledge, some have recent experience.
But all have a common thread – being touched either from a distance or very closely by cancer.
For me it was my dad, my cousin, my uncle, old friends and new acquaintances – more than all my fingers and some toes.
So besides the opportunity to open myself up to new people, and a chance to honour my family and friends, the drive for me to work with the committee is to create awareness. Knowledge is power. The more people know, the more information that is made available, the better everyone’s chance is to fight back.
Funds raised from society events like the Relay for Life are key in providing that education.
Others around the committee table have different motivations. It’s awesome that they have taken their experiences and channeled them into helping co-ordinate this event. Our table is large, there are plenty of chairs and we would certainly welcome more help in our effort.
Starting soon I’ll be back on the email trail cajoling all the local singers, dancers and players to entertain us again on the Relay for Life stage. My goal is to entertain all the Relayers, whether they are on the high school track at 11 in the morning or 10 at night.
Please consider joining the Relay For Life Committee. For additional information or to join our committee, please contact Betty- Ann Price, firstname.lastname@example.org 250-426-8916