Supporters of a major cancer charity fundraiser took to the streets yesterday to celebrate the launch of its first in-person event in two years.
Relay for Life, which raises awareness and funds to support access to cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and support provided by Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, is due to take place at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire from May 20 to 21.
Under the banner Cancer Never Sleeps, members of the community are invited to lap the stadium’s running track throughout the day and night to support the cause.
Money raised goes towards BCHC’s Equal Access Fund for those needing cancer treatment and services who are underinsured and uninsured.
The event, sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance, has been held virtually for two years because of Covid-19.
Ron Spencer III, the founder of Relay for Life Bermuda, said during the launch event at Victoria Park, Hamilton, this afternoon: “This year, we really look forward to getting back together in person; this last couple of years we missed everybody.
“We are really excited to get back to our track with our ‘relayers’ and we aim to get together a total of 80 teams. This is a community event that is meant to be in person.“
Ceri Riihiluoma, a team captain for Serve with Liberty and marketing representative for Liberty Mutual Insurance, highlighted the event’s role in raising money to build the radiation facility in Bermuda, which opened its doors in 2017.
Asuree Williams, the event co-chair, said that 97 per cent of funds raised supported local services, which included mammography, ultrasound, breast and prostate biopsies and radiation therapy, while 3 per cent of funds went towards Global Relay For Life's cancer control initiatives worldwide.
Mr Spencer thanked all those involved in the event including event volunteers, team captains, participants, survivors and caregivers as well as committee members, BCHC staff and sponsors.
He and other organisers and supporters walked through Hamilton holding up banners that read “Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back” to help raise awareness of the event.
In May, Relay for Life will begin with an opening ceremony, followed by cancer survivors taking a lap around the track.
The survivors will be followed by teams of fundraisers, with at least one member of each team on the track at all times until the end of the event.
There will also be an overnight lights ceremony with hundreds of candles lit to honour cancer survivors and remember those who have been lost to the disease.
The annual fundraiser, now in its ninth year in Bermuda, attracts more than 5,000 participants and has raised more than $4.5 million to help the fight against cancer.
For more information, visit the Relay for Life Facebook page or go to www.bermudarelay.com.
For information about becoming a team captain, visit: https://bermudarelay.com/about-relay-for-life/captain-information/