Relay raises hope at Fish Creek
DATA showed that in 2015, 193 people were diagnosed with cancer in the South Gippsland shire, with 76 locals losing their lives to the disease.
Raising money to combat cancer by furthering research is a big part of the Cancer Council’s Relay for Life, which has been running in Australia since 1999.
The third South Gippsland Relay for Life was held at Fish Creek’s Terrill Park over the weekend, with more than 400 walkers in 20 teams taking part.
The event raised more than $66,000 for the Cancer Council, taking the total for three years to over $180,000.
South Gippsland Relay for Life chair Irene Gale said it was an excellent event, with good weather and brilliant entertainers.
She said the whole event was a moving experience for the people there.
“Apart from giving people who deal with cancer a place to share their story and know they are not alone, the event raises funds for cancer research as well as prevention and education,” she said.
Ms Gale said apart from raising funds, the Relay for Life is an important event for those going through the cancer journey.
She said it can even act as a great part of the grieving process.
“It is a caring environment where everyone around you has had a similar experience. Cancer can be a lonely journey, so the emotional support provided by the relay is very important,” she said.
“I think it is just a valuable as the money we raise.”
Five teams participating in the Fish Creek event raised in excess of $5000, which entitles them to a research award.
“The Burra Flames, H4H, Gale Force, We are Family and the Waratah Warriors each raised over $5000, which is pretty exciting,” Ms Gale said.
“Their award entitles them to direct the funds they raised to a specific research project and to name that project.”
This year was the last the South Gippsland Relay for Life will be held in Fish Creek.
“When Fish Creek took it on in 2015, we said we would do it for three years. It is a shire wide event, so hopefully a new town will pick it up and run it in 2018,” Ms Gale said.
“I look back after three years in Fishy and can see people who have done things for fundraising and gone to events who never would have normally done that.
“We built up community as well as raising funds.”
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