Students at Ponoka Composite High School are hosting their second annual Youth Relay for Life to honour cancer survivors and raise money for research.
Relay organizer Meaghan Nicholson said the event is an opportunity for students to get together with family and friends and celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer and fight back in hope of finding a cure.
“It’s a chance for students to enjoy some fun activities and honour those who have won the battle and remember those who have died.”
The relay will be held from 7 p.m. May 14 to 7 a.m. May 15. Teams of 10 participants will take turns and spend a total of 12 hours on the running track at the high school. “We’ll always have a person from each team on the track for the whole 12 hours,” Nicholson said.
A special survivors’ reception will be held at 6 p.m. to honour survivors and their guests. Opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m., followed by the Survivors’ Victory Lap. A special luminary ceremony is held after sunset.
Nicholson said there are many students who, like her, have had family members affected by cancer. Nicholson lost an uncle to the disease and both her mother and grandmother are cancer survivors.
Fifteen teams have registered so far and Nicholson is hoping for at least 20. Individuals should have a minimum $80 in pledges to participate. The committee’s goal is to exceed the nearly $19,000 raised last year. Corporate support is also needed to help defray costs.
The committee plans to provide breakfast for the participants after the relay and offer fresh coffee throughout the night. There will also be movies, games and activities to entertain participants when they are not out on the track.
Tents can be pitched overnight on the school grounds and in the event of inclement weather, the relay will move indoors to the gymnasium.
Adult volunteers are required to help chaperone the event and provide security for the participants, and to help set up and tear down the event.
Survivor registration forms and volunteer registration forms are available at PCHS and local businesses, including the Ponoka News. Anyone interested in participating can also contact Nicholson at 403-783-1038 or 403-783-5820; or Holly Riske at the high school, 403-783-4411.