Ready to relay

THE Queanbeyan Relay for Life is shaping for another successful year with more than $62,000 already deposited in the bank - far surpassing the initial goal of $45,000.

With these impressive statistics, signs point to a possible repeat of last year's efforts where just a day before the event in excess of $55,000 had already been raised.

The final tally at the conclusion last year was more than $100,000 raised for the Cancer Council. It was a phenomenal result for the first ever Queanbeyan Relay for Life and far surpassed the $40,000 benchmark.

These thousands of dollars goes towards the Cancer Council's critical research, prevention, education and support services. The organisation aims to minimise the impact cancer has on the community.

Sponsorship and fundraising coordinator Natalie Jupe said the committee have been very happy with the amount of community support. There are currently 35 teams and 416 participants registered to participate in the 24-hour relay event.

"The response has been fantastic, we've been getting a lot of support from the local community," Miss Jupe said. "It was hard with the event last year because it was the first time and people didn't know what to expect but now they do and they're really getting behind it."

Event ambassador Chris Kimball will be leading the opening ceremony which includes the Survivors and Carers' Walk.

It's a fitting honour for the ABC journalist as Mr Kimball is in remission after being diagnosed and receiving treatment for a rare sub-type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

"I think there's a collective strength at events like this," Mr Kimball said. "You can't go at it on your own, you share stories and it makes it more tolerable."

The event will also include the Candlelight Ceremony of Hope to remember those who have lost their battle with cancer and a Closing Ceremony to end the event on Sunday morning.

There will be plenty of activities in between including a egg and spoon / balloon races, face painting, exercise sessions, musical entertainment and movies.

"What we would like is to create community awareness. It's a fun weekend but we also want locals to learn and understand the great work done by the Cancer Council," Miss Jupe said.

It's not too late to get behind the Queanbeyan Relay for Life- participants can commit to one lap or the whole 24 hours. Online registrations have now closed but registrations can be made in person on the day and costs $20 per person.

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