Community support building for Relay for Life

Relay for Life co-chairs Trish Mears and Matt Gees and his children Alexandra, Samuel and Anastasia.

By Angela Norval

It is only fitting that this year’s Relay for Life theme is ‘heroes’, considering the heroic dedication the local community has shown since the event started in Bundaberg in 2004.

It’s endured a change in venue, flood recovery, changes in organising committee and CCQ staff assistance, but one thing has remained and that is the Bundaberg region’s unwavering support.

The iconic fund-raiser is back this year and celebrating 21 years of bringing communities together to fight back against cancer.

Bundaberg Relay for Life co-chair Matt Gees said the event not only united the region in a common cause but brought the community together in a way that no other event did.

“Even while living in Brisbane, it was a joy and privilege for me to return to assist with relay and see so many familiar faces alongside so many new ones,” he said.

“I was always happy to brag how much of a ‘whole community’ event our relay is.

“Last year was just as much of a thrill; when we had to move to an online-only format and not have everyone together, we were worried whether the event would have the same support.

“As usual, though, Bundaberg supported us and helped us raise funds to continue the work of Cancer Council in our region and across the state.

“As our CEO says, Relay for Life brings together the community to celebrate, remember and fight back – and I would love to have our region support us once again in 2021.”

Relay for Life Bundaberg co-chair Trish Mears was excited to be back at the Recreational Precinct.

“The Bundaberg Recreational Precinct is such a great venue and it will be so good to have the full relay experience there this year,” she said.

“We will also be streaming the major ceremonies and events so those who can’t be there can still feel part of Relay for Life.

“Once again, Shalom College have really gone above and beyond to help us film and stream relay; we couldn’t do it without them.”

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan was pleased to share that in-person events were recommencing following their temporary switch to virtual events last year due to the pandemic.

“Over the years your support has given hope to the 30,000 Queenslanders who are diagnosed with cancer each year,” she said.

“I encourage Queenslanders to team up to raise funds in the lead up to their local Relay For Life event because every dollar raised goes towards funding Cancer Council Queensland’s vital research, prevention and support programs, many of which help people in your community every day.

“Relay For Life brings communities together to celebrate cancer survivorship, remember loved ones lost and empower teams of families, friends and colleagues to raise money to fight back against cancer.

“Support your local community by either registering a team or taking part in the fund-raising activities that will be held in the lead up to the event – together we can make a difference.”

To find out more or to register for Relay For Life, visit www.relayforlife.org.au or call 1300 65 65 85.

The Bundaberg/Fraser Coast Relay for Life will be held on Saturday 14 August from 2pm to 11pm at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct so there is still time to form a team or donate.