By Josh Howald
There were a few tears, plenty of smiles, 10 heads shaved and more than $50,000 raised for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Cancer survivors walk the opening lap of the eighth annual Relay For Life in Kincardine Friday night at the Davidson Centre track. (Josh Howald photo)
Friday night marked the eighth annual Kincardine Relay For Life, and perfect weather made for large crowds to kick off the festivities. The night began emotionally, with a chat from Kincardine’s Nelly King preceding the customary Survivor’s Lap.
King spoke the same way she dealt with being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. She struggled at first, but grew stronger along the way. Her voice grew prouder and stronger as she told the crowd how she now is a proud mother of two, and cancer free for six years. She’s now a part of the Peer Support Program, which she leaned on heavily during her fight. She said events like the Relay For Life help fund programs like the ones that got her through treatment.
King then joined 67 other cancer survivors in yellow shirts to walk the first lap of the Davison Centre track to officially open the Relay for Life. There were 82 cancer survivors in total that turned out.
More than 200 people took part in the event, and at least that many supporters came out Friday night to show support. When it was all said and done, the event had raised $52,171.42 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Another $11,000 was raised in a Cops For Cancer event that was held following the Survivor’s Lap, but before 445 Luminaries were lit in honour of loved ones lost to cancer, and those currently fighting the disease.
Twenty-one teams spent the night walking the track, with the top team raising nearly $10,000. Team Lynn, Rosemary and Nancy were sponsored for $9,490. Team “Friends Forever” raised more than $5,000 and “Ripley Walks for Cancer” raked in nearly $3,500. In the eight years the Relay for Life has operated in Kincardine, a total of $666,060.42 has been raised.
“I did it for my friends. I know a heck of a lot of people who have been hit with cancer,” said Cathy Tovey, who raised $2,443 as one of 10 people to have their heads shaved in front of the appreciative crowd.
“I think we all do. It’s just a fun event, and I’m happy to be part of it.”
Live entertainment kept the crowd hopping until the walk wrapped up at 7 a.m. Saturday morning.
“We were just looking forward to staying out all night,” laughed Ayden Johnson of Team “Kids Cure Cancer”.
“But at least we have a good reason.”