By Jasmine Franklin
Twelve hours seems like a long time to be active, but nearly 130 Ponoka Composite High School students sucked up the pain and gained $15,800 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Survivors, students and supporters gathered on the PCHS football field May 14 for the beginning of a long evening. Starting at 7 p.m., students were to take part in a walk or run for the Relay for Life to go throughout the night until 7 a.m. May 15.
“This gives children a clear view of what it means being able to help out those needing it,” parent Linda Davis said.
The first lap around the field was dedicated to the survivors of cancer who sported yellow shirts during the event.
“All the yellow shirts are a sign that cancer can be beaten,” said Meaghan Nicholson, student and organizer. “We can help.”
As survivors completed the first lap of the evening, a crowd greeted them with cheers and support.
Colin Edington, provincial co-ordinator for Relay for Life, said the work of students for these events is truly inspiring.
“They come to us and we will do whatever we can to help them reach their goal,” Edington said. “The money stays here in Alberta and even here in Ponoka.”
PCHS student Erika Cissell was 12 years old when she discovered she had a form of bone cancer. Now in high school and a dancer, the smile on her face proves she is a true survivor.
“I’m excited about (the relay for life),” Cissell said. “(It’s for a) good cause.”
The event received a $2,000 donation from the West Ponoka Beef Club which donated their share of this year’s charity steer to the fundraiser. Each participant was encouraged to raise at least $100.
And while fun was being had and there was ample opportunity to visit with friends, there was a deep reminder on that football field that one more step was being taken to support those touched with cancer.