Brock Relay For Life encouraging students to aid in fighting back against cancer

Photo by: Brenden Cowan

The Brock Relay For Life campaign is offering numerous activities to prepare for the return of their overnight fight back against cancer event.

Throughout the month of February, Brock’s Relay For Life organization will be putting on events to raise student engagement and participation towards the event while also raising money and awareness towards Relay For Life and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS).

Since 1999, Relay For Life has gathered participants of all ages to walk alongside one another in symbolization of the action needed to change the future of cancer. The campaign is run by the CCS, an organization which supports Canadians with cancer in communities across the country. The CCS provides groundbreaking research, a support system for those affected by the disease, and public policies to help further prevent cancer.

This year​,​​ Brock’s organization aims to earn $30,000 by March 10, when the notable 12-hour overnight event begins.

“We’re directly affiliated with the Canadian Cancer Society,” said Jessica Tomassi, co-chair of Brock’s campaign. “So everything that we do and all of the money that is donated goes directly to them, which goes towards things like research and services that help people and families living with cancer.”

The funds reached by the end of the campaign are especially important this year due to the $80 million deficit experienced by the CCS, brought on by COVID-19. Also, many individuals are in need of such fundings in the wake of the pandemic.

“The rise of people getting diagnosed with cancer after not going to the doctor for so long due to COVID-19 just makes Relay For Life so much more important now,” said Tomassi.

To raise as much as possible to aid all those in need, Brock Relay For Life will be hosting various smaller activities and events in preparation for the overnight event. This week, the organization is hosting a “relay week,” with different events offered daily.

Following their tabling event on Monday, Brock Relay For Life will have a Mama Mia movie night this Tuesday, a yoga night on Wednesday and a photo scavenger hunt on Thursday. Finally, on Friday, the organization will be hosting a Country Night at Daisy Dukes, included with a $5 cover with all proceeds going directly to the CCS.

“We’re kind of hoping that by building up the momentum of having our first fully in person overnight event back, people will be more willing to join our event and donate. These smaller events also help contribute to our fundraising and also get our name out there,” said Tomassi.

The organization will also be offering various additional events, which are to be announced, all of which will lead up to the 12-hour affair on March 10.

Beginning at 7 p.m. and ending at 7 a.m., the event will consist of 12 hours of walking, where participants will have the opportunity to fight back against cancer while engaging in various other activities.

“The reason why we do it overnight and why it’s such a long event is because we go with the motto: Cancer never sleeps, so for one night, neither do we,” said Tomassi.

To participate in the event, there is a $20 registration fee, which is strictly donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. Those who sign up for the event will receive a T-shirt, as well as dinner, breakfast and snacks on the day of the event. The campaign will also be putting on loads of activities and games and offering live entertainment from local bands.

“Unfortunately, the past couple of years have been offered either online or hybrid due to COVID-19. So this is our first year back and we’re really excited about it,” said Tomassi.

Those interested in the event can sign up and begin raising funds now. The walk will be hosted in the Ian Beddis Gymnasium, and participants are welcome to sign up as a team or individually.

By partaking in the Brock Relay For Life event, the organization hopes to take steps towards a bright future together, while demonstrating to those affected by the disease that they never have to walk alone.

For more information on upcoming events hosted by Brock Relay For Life, visit their official Instagram.

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