Relay racks up funds in support of cancer fight

About $130,000 raised at weekend event

Rosalie Pallard

Rosalie Pallard

Hair clippers buzzed and bands played as footsteps shuffled around the Rotary Bowl track Friday.

More than 450 people turned out to support loved ones, cheer those who beat the disease and celebrate the lives of those who lost their fight with cancer. They also came out to raise cash to continue the battle.

Fifty three teams supported this year’s Relay for Life.

Highlights of the evening included a head shave on the main stage, which raised hundreds of dollars for the cause.

The warm aroma of a chili cook-off between accounting firms Church Pickard and Investors Group filled the evening air and the Nanaimo firefighters’ team The Bucketheads took their turns around the track in full turnout gear.

Jennifer Sears, Canadian Cancer Society community fundraising coordinator, said the final lap Saturday morning was taken by supporters pledging to make changes in their lives to fight cancer.

“Everybody who’s there walks the last lap and everybody has little flags that say what they’re going to do to fight cancer,” Sears said. “Some said I’m going to get exercise; I’m going to quit smoking; I’m going to volunteer.”

Sears said the numbers are still coming in, but an estimated $130,000 was raised at this year’s Relay for Life.