TRURO – There are major changes to this summer’s Relay for Life in Truro.
Mike Reid and Greg Arsenault, co-chairmen of the 2014 event in support of the Canadian Cancer Society, said the changes include the day of week, as well as time of the event.
“We’re trying to attract a different variety of people to continue this event in the future,” said Arsenault about the change from a Friday night start to Saturday afternoon start.
“It’s a fresher approach,” added Reid, who has been with the Relay event in one form or another since it began in Truro in 2002.
Instead of starting at 7 p.m. on a Friday and finishing at 7 a.m. the next day, the event will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 14, and end at 1 a.m. Sunday.
“This will allow us to have more family-oriented events and daytime events,” Reid, who has been a participant, survivor and committee member, said.
Also new to the event this year is an overall theme – Superheroes.
“Everybody at that event, whether they are a participant, a volunteer, a survivor or a member of the committee, is a superhero to me,” said Arsenault.
Traditionally, each team could pick their own theme if they chose to, decorating their T-shirts and even campsites. This year, the committee is hoping to see every participant dress as some sort of superhero.
Because of the time change, the co-chairmen say those organizing the event have a chance to involve everyone in the community, from children to seniors.
“We want to involve the next generation of relayers. That’s what I try to do,” said Reid.
Around Christmastime six years ago, Reid was diagnosed with skin cancer.
“I knew at the time that I couldn’t do anything life changing to stop or to change the diagnosis, so I decided I was going to be an unwilling host. I didn’t consider myself a survivor,” he said.
While he had participated in the event for years, Reid attended his first survivor’s reception and didn’t want to don the significant yellow T-shirt, but he eventually did.
“I can’t describe the feeling of acceptance and relief. That instant … it changed me. I cried my entire survivor’s lap. It was so emotional for me and that’s my motivation now.”
Although he’s never been told his cancer would be completely cured, Reid now considers himself to be a survivor.
“The relay changed my perception on that. I became a committee member because I wanted to give back to a worthy cause.”
Planning for the event is well underway, however Arsenault said more needs to be done, including recruiting committee members and volunteers.
“Our generation is getting too old to continue doing this and we need to have the next generation trained until we don’t need this event anymore,” he said.
Reid and Arsenault said the committee is still looking for people to fill several roles, including volunteer chairman.
“Whether they can only volunteer two hours or two days, we’ll take them,” Arsenault said.
Anyone wishing to join the committee or volunteer at the event, and those looking for more information can contact Reid at 957-2358 or Arsenault at 893-4475. More information can also be found at www.cancer.ca, or https://www.facebook.com/ColchesterRelayforLife.
BY THE NUMBERS:
- 2013: 450 participants; $92,420 raised by participants; $113,712 raised in total
- 2012: 577 participants; $132,773 raised by participants; $149,925 raised in total
- 2011: 579 participants; $104,709 raised by participants; $121,972 raised in total
- 2010: 414 participants; $88,949 raised by participants; $108,338 raised in total
- 2009: 779 participants; $115,945 raised by participants; $134,300 raised in total
- 2008: 1,190 participants; $135,599 raised by participants; $160,048 raised in total
On average: $211 raised per participant in 2013