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Annual Relay for LIfe will kick-off March 3

The kick-off evening for the annual Relay for Life event happens March 3 at the Overlander Convention Centre.

The kick-off evening for the annual Relay for Life event happens March 3 at the Overlander Convention Centre.The kick-off starting at 7 p.m. will be an opportunity for people to meet the leadership team, register teams for the relay, and find out about the exciting new changes in the event this year, says chair Leeyann Allan. In past years the relay has been a 12-hour event scheduled from 7 p.m. one day to 7 a.m. the following morning. This year’s event will be extended into an 18-hour event with the formal activities happening during the day and evening, followed by a silent overnight vigil starting at midnight.  The 2011 Relay For Life will happen on May 28 starting at 1 p.m. and finishing up the following morning, May 29 at 7 a.m.By extending the hours and having most of the formal activities scheduled during the day and evening, Allan says there will be more opportunity for children and families to participate.As in other years the relay will start with the survivor lap to honour all cancer survivors; include entertainment throughout the day and evening; the fight-back ceremony where participants pledge to take action and spread awareness about cancer research, treatments and prevention; and the luminary ceremony to remember all those who lost their battle with cancer.“The candles will burn throughout the night and participants can do what they are comfortable doing,” Allan says.Last year the Relay for Life in Williams Lake raised $47,214.53 with 19 teams, Allan says.  This year she says the goal is to raise $50,000 with 25 teams.The leadership team includes Wenona Gordon (teams co-ordinator); Susan Graves and Lorraine Smith (luminaries); Yvonne Hauk and Devon Lyons (finance); Stephanie Brandt and Roxanne Bambrick (volunteer pool). Allan says the theme of this year’s relay is “preventing cancer through living well, being aware and getting involved.” Living well to reduce your risk of cancer means making healthy choices when it comes to diet, exercise, maintaining a good body weight, not smoking or chewing tobacco and being sensible about exposure to the sun.Prevention also means being aware of your body and having available tests to detect cancer in the early stages, such as mammograms, pap tests, prostate and skin cancer screening. The Williams Lake Relay for Life is one of 490 relay for life events sanctioned across Canada by the Canadian Cancer Society. The society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life for people living with cancer.