Karen Becia, left, Glynnis André and Debra Corsaro cross the finish line at the end of the survivors’ lap at Saturday night’s Relay for Life at Nanaimo’s Rotary Bowl stadium. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo holds baton high at final Relay for Life

Cancer society fundraiser was held Saturday night at Rotary Bowl stadium

The Nanaimo Relay for Life can pass the baton proudly after holding its final event this weekend.

The fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society was held Saturday night at Rotary Bowl stadium. Fundraising goals were far exceeded – organizers had hoped to raise $30,000 and the final tally came in at nearly $47,300.

After collecting pledges leading up to the event, participants began circling the track Saturday a little after 5 p.m. and continued until 11 p.m. There were 21 teams registered, and more than 400 people were gathered at the venue.

Tracy Berg, volunteer chairwoman, said the relay is a celebration of survivorship and a chance to remember those who have been loved and lost.

“We know a world without cancer gets closer every day at these Relay for Life events,” she said. “Arm in arm, participants, survivors, caregivers, volunteers and our community draw strength from each other.”

She thanked people for supporting the fundraiser, saying it helps the cancer society save lives.

“We have gathered as a community determined that those who are facing cancer will be supported. That those who have lost their battle will not be forgotten and together we will continue to fight back,” Berg said.

Darrell Mayzes was the top individual fundraiser, bringing in $2,950, and Team Mayzes was the top team fundraiser at $7,675.

Organizers made the decision that 2017 would be the final Relay for Life due to declining participation in recent years.