A local woman is inviting residents to lace up their walking shoes and join her for the first Relay for Cancer held in Weyburn on the evening of Friday, October 13th. Contessa Hill admits that her event may have had some inspiration from similar fundraisers held previously, but she contests that it's an important way for the community to rally behind those affected by Cancer and fill a need for local funding to support families and patients here in Saskatchewan.
"I'm not going to lie, we used to have the Relay for Life, and I sort of stole that idea. They haven't been held for a couple years now, and they're no longer held in Saskatchewan. I guess there's really no offices for the Canadian Cancer Society left here anymore. So I changed it up a little bit, and we're bringing it back. I've done a few Relays for Life in the past, and I wanted to do something like that again now that I'm feeling better."
Hill is a Cancer survivor, having endured the long and difficult journey back to health with the endless support of her friends, family, and community. Now, emerging victorious over the sickness, she is looking to repay those many kind acts. "Of course everyone was so great during my treatments," she recalls. "I actually needed people to drive me back from the appointments, and I had friends and family there to sit with me during Chemo and to drive me home. The support I received was overwhelming from everyone who showed up to help me."
Those same friends and family took the initiative to drive their efforts one step further and organized a fundraiser to ease the unspoken costs of seeking treatment that Hill had incurred.
"Some incredible businesses stepped up and paid for the hall, and paid for the insurance, and also made donations towards the raffle table. Obviously, anyone who has gone through what I've been through knows that if you can get some treatments in town, that's great! But you still have time off work, and all the other trips to Regina which adds up. It's miles on your car, it's gas money, and more. I was very blessed to have the support of my community, and now that I am feeling better I want to give back. So I came up with this!"
The first ever Relay for Cancer is an opportunity for Weyburnites to seek sponsorships from the community and raise funds for the Cancer Society of Saskatchewan, an organization that aims to improve treatment services and facilities used by patients here in our own province. All funds donated to the Cancer of Society of Saskatchewan will remain in the province, something that Hill says is very important to her.
"If there was something just in Weyburn, I would have picked that, but I picked this organization because the money going to the Cancer Foundation will stay here in Saskatchewan and I think that's a great thing."
Individuals or teams can register to join the relay, with the goal in mind of raising $100 per participant/group through local sponsorships. Hill says there will also be opportunities for businesses to sponsor the Relay if they wish to donate directly to the cause.
"If anyone is wanting to sponsor, donate, or if they have any items they'd like to put in for the raffle table, they can reach out to me. You can either find me on Facebook, or call or text my cell at (306) 861-2802."
The Relay will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the mini-track located upstairs inside the Credit Union Spark Centre on October 13th. Registration for teams or individuals is free and open to all ages. To register, make a donation, or track funding progress for the Relay, click THIS LINK for the Cancer Foundation of Saskatchewan. Donations by cash or cheque may also be made directly to Contessa Hill, which will be submitted to the Foundation on your behalf.
"Come on out and do a quick lap! You can get in on the 50/50, we'll have some great items for the raffle tables, we'll have lots of great stuff going on. Build a team, join a team, or just show up to bring your support, because no one walks alone."
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