Heather Walsh at a Relay For Life garage sale fundraiser.
Heather Walsh at a Relay For Life garage sale fundraiser.

Light up the night for Relay for Life

BARGARA'S Palm Lake Resort community will be lighting up the night sky tonight as its residents host their own candlelight ceremony for iconic fundraising event Relay For Life.

Residents from the resort make up the Young at Heart fundraising team and have been getting creative in their efforts to raise funds for the work of Cancer Council Queensland.

The 2020 Bundaberg Relay For Life has been transformed into a virtual event for the first time in the event's history, and will be held this Saturday, August 8, from 3pm to 7pm and will be live streamed through its Facebook event listing.

Team secretary Heather Walsh said that although she and husband Gerry had supported Relay for Life in the past, this was the first year they had really been active in their participation.

"It began with the Greatest Morning Tea in March, when Team Captain Ron Myler had to take a back seat due to Illness, and a steering committee of Cazzie Scott as President, myself as secretary, and Gerry as Treasurer was formed to run the event," Mrs Walsh said.

"It proved to be a great success, raising over $4,500, but it was to be the last big public event we were destined to conduct, since almost the very next day we were in lockdown.

"My husband is a prostate cancer survivor, so we were more than happy to give Relay For Life a go and see what we could do."

Mrs Walsh said the team was determined to fundraise the best they could despite the impacts of COVID-19.

"We brainstormed a bunch of things we could do that were safe for our community, and there was actually plenty of things," Mrs Walsh said.

"We collected residents' bottles and cans and put the recycling money towards our fundraising, we held lamington drives, money boards, mini cake stalls, and raffles.

"Our biggest fundraiser was a week-long garage sale we held where we created a COVID-19-safe route and sanitising stations so the community could still come along and get involved."

Mrs Walsh said Relay For Life has been a great way for the resort community to connect and come together during these past difficult months.

"Since there are many people in our community who have also been touched by cancer, we've sold over 500 candles to residents and will be placing the candles at the end of each driveway on the afternoon of Relay," Mrs Walsh said.

"Then at the time of the candlelight ceremony, all residents can walk down any street in the resort and see the candles lighting up the neighbourhood in remembrance.

"Having a virtual event has actually given us the opportunity to participate in our own way and reach out and connect with the people around us."

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said it was teams like Young at Heart that make Relay For Life such a special event.

"Without the support from the community, Relay For Life wouldn't be the unforgettable experience it is," Ms McMillan said.

"Although the event looks very different this year, its importance and purpose remain the same. After all, cancer doesn't rest, so neither do we.

"By participating in Bundaberg Relay For Life, you will give hope to all locals affected by cancer and help get one step closer to a cancer free future."

All funds raised from Relay For Life supports Cancer Council Queensland's vital work in cancer research, prevention programs and support services.

To register a team, volunteer or find out more, visit www.relayforlife.org.au or call 1300 65 65 85.

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