Thursday marked 100 days until the 2018 Wagga Relay for Life and this will mean different things to different people.
There are few people in our city that would not be affected by cancer, either through their own diagnosis or the diagnosis of a friend or family member.
It’s an unrelenting disease that doesn’t discriminate, the cause is often unknown and the outcome can be bleak.
Relay for Life is one of the city’s biggest fundraising events.
Organisers spend months (just after one relay finishes, they start planning the next) planning all the fine details, from campsite allocation to ensuring there’s enough toilet paper to last hundreds of people for 24 hours.
It can be a gruelling job but its one they gladly do year after year.
This dedicated committee of volunteers each takes joy from watching an event come to fruition.
The participants are there because they have watched someone suffer or they have suffered themselves.
Relay for Life is a time for hope, celebration, reflection and fundraising for a cure so that less of our future generations have to endure this disease.
People from all walks of life are united by a common goal while camped on a sporting field for 24 hours.
It sounds bizarre but those who’ve been to a relay know just how empowering it can be.
During the day, the oval is buzzing with live music, events, stalls and people in colourful costumes.
With plenty of food (we highly recommend the apple slinkies) and drink to sustain you through the heat or cold of the day (the weather can be quite fickle).
At night, it’s a lot more sombre with a hope ceremony and lap of honour.
We challenge anyone to get through the guest speaker’s speech without tears.
And then teams walk well into the night and through to morning.
If you can’t register a team for October 13 to 14, perhaps thinking about donating money to one.
No amount is too small.
Wagga alone has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Cancer Council over many relays.
Organisers are always looking for whatever support they can receive and why not try and help to make this Wagga’s biggest year yet?