Relay for Life fun and poignant

With less than a week to go, furious activity is underway to get ready for the 2015 Langley Relay for Life.

“This is the crazy, crazy time,” said Jenn Schroeder, who is heading up organizing for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The annual event takes place in McLeod Athletic Park on Friday, June 12.

More than 50 teams of relayers will hit the track starting at 6 p.m. and keep walking (possibly with a few breaks) until 6 a.m. June 13. Some of them will be dressed in capes and spandex, in keeping with this year’s superheroes theme.

The annual non-competitive event has raised millions of dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society over the years. Almost $100,000 has been collected this year, and the total will likely go higher with last minute-donations and post-relay fundraising efforts.

The first lap, as at every Relay for Life, is by cancer survivors, some of them still in treatment, all wearing bright yellow T-shirts. 

Once the survivors have finished their lap, the teams will begin.

Those team members not walking or running will be taking in a wide variety of activities.

Part of the kick off to events will include survivor speakers, who this year come from the Abreast in a Boat dragonboat team, a team composed of cancer survivors.

Entertainment and games take place throughout the night, including music from singers like Tiffany Desrosiers and band The Heist and the Road Dogs, and a showing of Pixar’s The Incredibles on a temporary screen to one side of the track.

The entertainment lineup is all new this year.

There will be some returning items and events, including the return of the food trucks to help serve up dinner to relayers.

One event that takes place every year is the luminary ceremony, when the white paper bags lining the track and in the stands are illuminated from within by candles.

At 10 p.m., the field lights will go dark and there is a silent remembrance for those have died of cancer.

This year the White Spot Pipe Band is sending some members for the luminary ceremony.

While the event is primarily for the teams relaying, it is open to everyone.

“It’s a community event,” said Schroeder.

People are welcome to come by and donate, check out the late night movie, watch the survivor lap or just soak in the atmosphere.

Organizers find the best way of explaining Relay for Life is to have people experience it.

“There’s such a festive feeling there, that captures you,” said Schroeder.

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