Kincardine Relay for Life
raises more than $61,000

By Liz Dadson

Health & Fitness

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Fighting back against cancer is "Team Lynn and Rosemary": Mary Armstrong (L), Nancy MacDonald, Al Jamieson, Marge MacDonald and Mary Donaldson, walking in the Kincardine Relay for Life in memory of Lynn Armstrong and Rosemary MacDonald who lost their battle against cancer

The "Cureous George Featuring the KDSS Kinetic Knights" team gets ready to walk in the Relay for Life which started Friday night at the Davidson Centre track, Kincardine

The "Ever Clares" team includes Shandra Thompson (L), Margaret Mayer, Kelly Williams, Brenda Orton, Siobhan Stevenson, and Nicole Thompson with Desmond

Luminaries are laid out on the bleachers to spell the word "Hope"

Cancer survivor lap opens the Kincardine Relay for Life Friday night

Twenty-three teams, with about 200 participants, walked in the Kincardine Relay for Life on the weekend, raising $61,144.62 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Event co-ordinator Patricia Holder said the numbers were down a bit from last year when 27 teams of 230 participants raised about $66,000.

However, the weather was perfect and there was a great spirit of fun from the moment the participants stepped on the Davidson Centre track for the victory lap at 7 p.m. Friday until the final lap at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The most emotional part was the cancer survivor victory lap Friday night when a sea of yellow shirts, surrounded by family, friends and team members, circled the track, following the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band.

About 65 cancer survivors walked that victory lap, and hundreds of luminaries were lit at dusk to remember those lost or touched by the disease.

Dennis Speer has been a survivor for six-and-a-half years. He battled cancer a second time and completed chemotherapy in June of 2005. He is now a grandfather and enjoying life.

Doreen Wardley-Nowell is a cancer survivor - she fought back in 1978, and again in 1994. She was walking in the relay in honour of her daughter, Teresa Nowell-McNicol, a firefighter in Ajax, who is just finishing a round of radiation in her fight against breast cancer.

Betty Jones has been free of cancer for a year, while her friend, Lynda MacKenzie, has been cancer-free for 23 years.

Kerrie Cooper is a survivor. She was a third-year college student in 1992 when she became sick and was diagnosed with leukemia.

"It was a shock," she said. "It was tough and it took awhile to understand what it all meant."

However, she was determined to beat the disease and that determination, along with the support of her friends, family and medical team, brought her through the many difficult days of treatment.

She went back to work and graduated from college in 2004, and is proud to wear a yellow shirt at the Kincardine Relay for Life in honour of family members who have survived, and in memory of those who haven't.

Laurie Wall, South West Region director for the Canadian Cancer Society, thanked everyone for taking part in the relay and all who helped organize it.

"The money goes toward eradicating cancer and improving the lives of those living with the disease," she said. "Ten years ago, the Canadian Cancer Society put $82-million toward cancer research and programs. Last year, $127-million went toward critical research, programs and information. We have to fight back, fight for life."

The "Friends Forever" team of Tiverton was walking in support of friend, Megan Freiburger, who is a cancer survivor for one year and two months.

Saturday morning, after announcing the amount raised, Holder thanked all the hard-working volunteers, the teams and the survivors who took part in the event. She also thanked Mike Brough of 98 the Beach for conducting the Relay Olympics Friday night. 

Brough and Ryan Berry of Buzzcutz Studioz, along with several local musicians and performers, provided the entertainment throughout the night.

Prizes and certificates went to the following:

  • Best decorated tent site - Friends Forever
  • Best team spirit - Cureous George and the Kinetic Knights
  • Dream Team Fund-raising Challenge - Team SED - Tim and Kerrie Cooper
  • Top Fund-raising Team - Rely for Life - Kortney Watson and Mackenzie Marshall
  • Top three individual pledge-earners - Rebecca Cowie, $2,747; Nancy MacDonald and Patricia Holder (tied), $2,110; Heather Cuyler, $1,910
  • Top three teams with highest total pledges - Friends Forever, $7,235.50; Team Lynn and Rosemary, $7,070; Triple C's (Canadians Conquering Cancer), $5,120
  • Total participant points and accumulated points - Big Bad Bowlers, Cureous George and the Kinetic Knights, Team Lynn and Rosemary

Holder and treasurer Kim Holder presented the cheque for $61,144.62 to Brenda O'Neill, fund-raising co-ordinator for the Bluewater Unit of the Canadian Cancer Society, just as a beautiful sunrise broke through.

Over the six years of the Kincardine Relay for Life, a total of $542,792.62 has been raised.

Prizes also went to the top three competitors in the Relay Olympics.

Cancer survivor Lillian Leggett (L) of Tiverton and her granddaughter, Britt Quipp, get ready to walk with Team "Bruce County Stars"

Jessica Satosek (L), Emily Scott and Laura Mangotich are part of "Troops for Triumph"

Alice Winter (L) of Port Elgin and Carol Gurr of Kincardine show their team spirit as part of the "Big Bad Bowlers" Striking Out Cancer

Elio Borea (L) and Tom Canellos of Enbridge serve pancakes and sausage to the hungry walkers Saturday morning at the Relay for Life

Janelle Gurr (L), Dianne Williams and Wendy Jones of the "Big Bad Bowlers" are still walking tall Saturday morning

Only his hoodie stood up - Alex Convay, 12, of Team "Friends Forever" catches a nap at the end of the relay

A magnificent sunrise heralds the completion of the Relay for Life Saturday morning

Patricia Holder (L) and Kim Holder present the official cheque for $61,144.62 to Brenda O'Neil

The final lap of the Relay for Life

Nelly King (L) of Kincardine with her son, Nolan, 19 months, and mother, Farideh Mehrabi, of London, sets free a butterfly of hope after the cancer survivor victory lap

Dennis Speer (L) of Kincardine signs the cancer survivor poster overseen by Belle Wilson, 11, of Kincardine

Donna Rock (R), a volunteer, pins a cancer survivor pin on Doreen Wardley-Nowell of Kincardine

Betty Jones (L) and Lynda MacKenzie relax in the cancer survivor area at the Relay for Life

Cassidy (L), 2, April, 3, and Michael Kelly, 7, of London show off the butterflies they put on their tent for "Team SED (Solutions to the Eradication of Disease)"

Audrey Forbes (L) and Joyce and Elmer Courtney complete the survivor victory lap

Team "Friends Forever" includes Vicky Skinner (L), Heather Cuyler, Donna Knox, Megan Freiburger, Belle Patterson, Heather Convay, Bobbi Lyn Patterson, Mary Lynn Young, Lily Freiburger, Julia Convay and "Reese"

Standing with the "Friends Forever" banner are Mary Lynn Young (L), Barb Alton, Megan Freiburger and Lily Freiburger

Cancer survivor Charlene Wilson (C), with her son, Sam (L), also a survivor, and daughter, Belle, carries the Survivor Banner at the start of the victory lap

The Kincardine Relay for Life begins

Dawson (L), 12, and Dakota Coultes, 9, of Belgrave, part of Team "Wawanosh Warriors", sleep as the sun rises Saturday

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