Wednesday, 08 May 2013 08:39

Relay for Life launches 2013 fundraiser in Swift Current

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Lenora Weber, a cancer survivor and member of the Kickin' Cancer support group, was the guest speaker at the 2013 Swift Current Relay for Life launch event, which took place at Market Square on May 2. This year's Relay for Life will take place on June 1 at Riverside Park. Lenora Weber, a cancer survivor and member of the Kickin' Cancer support group, was the guest speaker at the 2013 Swift Current Relay for Life launch event, which took place at Market Square on May 2. This year's Relay for Life will take place on June 1 at Riverside Park.

The fight back against cancer in Swift Current has started with the official launch of the Relay for Life 2013 campaign.


The launch event took place at Market Square on May 2 with a number of presentations and a mini luminary ceremony in memory of cancer victims and survivors.
Local musicians Myshel Pajuaar and Paula McGuigan of the Midnight Roses and Mark Penner provided entertainment along with coffee and refreshments by BMO staff.
Lenora Weber, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2010, was the survivor speaker at the launch event.
“Every day living requires courage,” she said. “We must do the things we think we cannot do.”
Her surgery took place in September 2010 and she also received chemotherapy treatment. She said her faith and friends helped her to deal with cancer and to survive it.
The chemotherapy ended in June 2011 and she joined the Swift Current Kickin’ Cancer support group.
“I found it to be very helpful because I’m not floundering,” she said.
Bob Moore and Brad Torry spoke about their Shoulders-Up for a Cure fundraiser, which has already collected more than $2,000 for Relay for Life.
They have been growing their facial hair since December 1 and will only shave and cut their hair after June 1.
“It’s been met with a variety of reactions,” Moore said. “If nothing else, at this point in the game, looking like this is always a bit of a conversation starter.”
Their next fundraising event is on May 10 with a performance by local band Over the Air at Lucky Charlie’s in downtown Swift Current. Moore, who is a member of the band, said there will be a variety of raffle items and all proceeds will go towards Relay for Life.
“We’re hoping to pack the place and get a lot of people turned on for Relay and fundraising,” he mentioned.
Deputy Mayor Pat Friesen brought greetings on behalf of the City of Swift Current. She described cancer as a “health terrorist” that can strike innocent victims at any time and change their lives forever.
“We must be ever vigilant when it comes to taking up the fight against cancer,” she said. “The Relay for Life is about communities in the southwest taking up that fight.”
This year’s Relay for Life in Swift Current will take place at Riverside Park June 1, starting at 7 p.m. and continuing throughout the night as teams walk around the track.
Julie Wellsch, who is the chair of the local Relay for Life committee, said the event is the Canadian Cancer Society’s largest fundraiser every year.
“It’s just a great celebration of life,” she noted. “A celebration of people who have fought and won the battle with cancer, the celebration of life of those who have not and of course to honour those who are going through it right now.”
This is the fourth year that she is involved with Relay for Life. She thanked all the volunteers, participants and sponsors for their support.
“Our event brings out some of Swift Current’s best volunteers,” she said. “Swift Current has lots of them and we’re lucky to have the great crew that we do. This year we have a mix of some new members and some of our veterans.”
According to Wellsch the planning for the June 1 event has been going well.
“Everything is going great,” she said. “We have lots of our returning sponsors, our teams are up to about 15 and we’re expecting about 23.”
Eight-time cancer survivor Dionne Warner of Regina will be a survivor speaker at this year’s Relay for Life. There will be more live entertainment this year to keep the walkers going throughout the long hours of the night.
People can still get involved in this year’s Relay for Life as a team, survivor or volunteer. They can contact the Canadian Cancer Society Southwest Unit in Swift Current at 43 1st Avenue N.E., phone the office at 306-773-6422 or contact Wellsch at 306-778-0598.
“Just come on out and support us, let’s make it a great Relay again,” she said.

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