The Canadian Cancer Society’ signature event is Relay For Life, but with that still four months away, teams are popping up throughout the city for ways to raise the funds needed to help.
Every year, thousands of teams across Canada organize fundraising events leading up to the big day on June 2 when a designated area in their respective city will be the site of a celebration of life for those who have either lost or survived a battle with cancer and those who love them. This year it is being held at the Mapleview Community Church and as is with every year, the idea is to have someone from your team on the track at all time from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Joyce Mayne is the Community Fundraiser Specialist of the Canadian Cancer Society Barrie chapter and was on-hand at the RFL fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings Monday night. Proceeds from food served Monday evening went to the CCS. Mayne believes that the age old task of getting into the community to raise awareness and funds has been a proven test of time and continues to work.
“This event tonight is one of our regular ways of not only reaching folks into the city for financial aid, but also being out, being noticed and getting the word out about what we’re doing,’ said Mayne. “We have goals that we set for each year, but I rarely mention them as I feel that no matter the goal, we can always aim higher.”
Like most folks who get involved with cancer-related fundraisers, Mayne has a connection in that not only is her husband a two and a half time survivor, but she herself is a survivor of the disease. Those reasons alone have recruited Mayne to join the fight and continue to do so for the last 30 years, with 14 as a volunteer and 16 in her current position. In charge of all fund-related events, Mayne oversees everything from Daffodil Days, door-to-door campaign, the Grudge Match in Barrie with police, fire and first responders battling it out as well as heading up Relay For Life in Barrie, Orillia and Alliston.
“Obviously Relay For Life is our main event and we’ve raised over two million dollars in Barrie alone,” said Mayne. “It’s pretty awesome when you figure all of that is saving lives.”
Getting teams together for annual events is the task of Team Recruitment Director Scott McEachern. The 30 year financial specialist is in charge of getting people to join RFL and says it’s not only a great thing to be a part of for the helping of the cause, but also has potential to bring friends and families closer as well.
“I’ve been active in this for many years and getting a group of friends together for fun fundraisers and trying to come up with wacky ideas to raise money and awareness is such a satisfying thing,” said McEachern. “Nights like this with the restaurants are put on by the local Canadian Cancer Society, but team driven days are coming up too. There is a Trunk Sale event on Saturday May 27 at 80 Bradford Street where all teams will be selling items out of their trunks with all proceeds going to their total for the Relay night the week after. But that’s a fundraiser that’s been a staple of the campaign for a while, we love hearing new ideas and seeing them in action.”
The next restaurant fundraiser is at Boston Pizza at 481 Bryne Drive on Apr. 10. Any meal you order between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. will have 10 per cent donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. It is a celebrity server night so members of the CCS will be bringing food to your table as will popular superstar Rage, from the local professional wrestling promotion Barrie Wrestling. You can still join teams or start your own. All information is on the website at http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFL_CAN_odd_?fr_id=22411&pg=entry