Relay for Life beats fund-raising target as hundreds take part
Hundreds of people put their best foot forward for an ‘emotional’ 24 hour relay walk and beat their fund-raising target for a vital cancer charity.
More than 340 people including about 63 cancer survivors signed up for Relay for Life at Nowton Park, in Bury St Edmunds, where in teams they braved the hot weather and walked around a circuit for 24 hours.
After fund-raising since November, the teams have smashed the event’s £31,000 target for Cancer Research UK.
“We’re in excess of £32,000 which has been raised and there’s still more coming in. It isn’t too late to donate if people still want to,” said David Cianciola and Matthew Darkins, co-event chairs.
“It was a terrific success. The atmosphere was emotional, warm and enveloping.
“It was like someone had just wrapped their arms around the field for the weekend and kept us close together.
“We became a big family of relayers for 24 hours.”
The event was launched by James Sheen, from the We Love Bury St Edmunds Facebook group, and started with a lap of honour for the cancer survivors.
They were led by piper Stuart Jones, who had rearranged his holiday to be there.
The teams then took part in the relay which included themed laps such as YMCA and Christmas.
There was a variety of live performances throughout the day and County Cllr Karen Soons, who represents the Thingoe South division, spoke to participants.
At dusk there was a ‘candle of hope’ ceremony where participants lit candles to pay tribute to those whose lives have been affected by cancer.
During the ceremony, cancer survivor Trish Docherty, of Bury, told her story and participant Lou Petch sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Everyone then sang You Will Never Walk Alone.
All those who took part received a medal.
Mr Cianciola and Mr Darkins thanked the event’s various supporters.
The event, which is organised by a committee of volunteers, has been held in Bury every year except one since 2009.
To donate, visit relay.cancerresearchuk.org/bury-st-edmunds
For more pictures, see Friday’s Bury Free Press newspaper.