News Local

Beachburg 2017 Relay for Life kicks off

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

Sean Chase/D aily Observer 
The 2017 Whitewater Relay for Life launched its campaign Thursday at Beachwest Pharmacy which is this year's event sponsor. In the photo are (front left to right) Orin Wattley and Tracy Gutzeit, representing entertainment sponsor Skyza, Hugh Martin and Sarah Vereyken, representing site sponsor Beachburg Arena and Beachburg Agricultural Society, team recruitment chairwoman Cindy Giroux, Community officer manager Roger Martin, event co-chairwoman Angie Robinson, Jim Labow, representing event sponsor Beachwest Pharmacy, Claire Martin and Ralph Martin, representing Lap Bead sponsor Beachburg Lions Club, and Carrie-Ann Tantalo, representing media sponsor Star 96.

Sean Chase/D aily Observer The 2017 Whitewater Relay for Life launched its campaign Thursday at Beachwest Pharmacy which is this year's event sponsor. In the photo are (front left to right) Orin Wattley and Tracy Gutzeit, representing entertainment sponsor Skyza, Hugh Martin and Sarah Vereyken, representing site sponsor Beachburg Arena and Beachburg Agricultural Society, team recruitment chairwoman Cindy Giroux, Community officer manager Roger Martin, event co-chairwoman Angie Robinson, Jim Labow, representing event sponsor Beachwest Pharmacy, Claire Martin and Ralph Martin, representing Lap Bead sponsor Beachburg Lions Club, and Carrie-Ann Tantalo, representing media sponsor Star 96.

BEACHBURG – The war against cancer will open another front this June when the Relay for Life returns to the historic Beachburg Fairgrounds.

The 2017 Whitewater Relay for Life campaign officially launched Thursday with a kickoff event on Beachburg's main street. This will be the fourth year that Beachburg has hosted the relay, which began as a county wide event 18 years ago. Cobden businessman Ted Barron was named this year's honourary survivor.

The Whitewater edition will be held at the Beachburg Fairgrounds on Friday, June 16 beginning at 7 p.m. The 12-hour overnight relay sees participants taking shifts walking, running or strolling. Often the so-called 'relayers' will pitch a tent and dress up in accordance with a theme which this year is called “Whitewater goes to the Movies.”

While the Renfrew County Relay for Life scheduled for June 9 at Dundonald Hall in Petawawa will be moving to a daytime/evening venue running from noon until midnight, the Beachburg Relay will retain the traditional overnight format.

“We're still a pretty new Relay and so far it's been successful with that format,” said Relay co-chairwoman Angie Robinson. “The community has been very supportive of the all-nighter.”

This year's relay will continue the poignant traditions of the Survivors Lap and the Luminary Ceremony which will take place at 10 p.m. on Relay night. Each luminary bag bears the name of a cancer survivor or someone who has lost the battle with cancer.

Last year's event brough in more than $64,236 and involved 200 participants. Relay for Life aids in the Cancer Society's mission to raise funds for life-saving cancer research and vital support services for residents in this region. This year's event will take on extra poignancy after the recent loss of Patsy Moore, a devoted supporter of Relay for Life. A long-time employee of the Township of Whitewater Region, Moore sadly lost her battle with cancer on March 1.

“Patsy had a very big team on and off the track,” said community office manager Roger Martin. “There are a lot of people in Whitewater Region who are truly still in mourning over Patsy's passing. I think they will want to fight back against cancer even harder than ever. We don't want to see any more friends and family disappear.”

The event sponsor is Beachwest Pharmacy, while the site sponsors are the Beachburg Agricultural Society and Beachburg Arena. In addition to the movie theme, in which teams will be asked to dress up as their favourite characters from the Silver Screen, Skyza Zone will be putting on the entertainment. One of the highlights will be a Relay campfire that will include encouraging Relayers to sing traditional campfire songs.

The Whitewater Relay for Life is scheduled to take place on Friday, June 16 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the Beachburg Fairgrounds. For more information visit www.relayforlife.ca/beachburg. Team captains can also pick up kits at the Canadian Cancer Society Renfrew County Community Office at 467 Pembroke St. West.

SChase@postmedia.com