The first annual IDIDALAP for Cancer event was held on June 17 and raised over $30,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“It was awesome!” said one of the organizers of the event Leslie McAvity.
“It was very well attended and at this point we’ve raised over $30,000 and our goal was $20,000,” she said.
For the last five years, it has been McAvity’s dream to bring a cancer fundraiser to Vanderhoof and this year she finally decided to stop talking about it and follow through with her vision.
The event, held on the NVSS track, was based around the Canadian Cancer Societies ‘Relay for Life’, a 24 hour event which takes places all over Canada.
McAvity, a 20-year cancer survivor, has taken part in the Prince George ‘Relay for Life’ five times and thats where she got the idea of bringing such an event to Vanderhoof.
The Relay for Life event is usually done over a 24-hour period but McAvity decided a 12-hour event would be a good idea for Vanderhoof.
Nineteen teams took part in the relay event between noon and midnight. The idea was to have someone from each team walking the track at all times.
“In the end we had 19 teams … we had a few that hadn’t registered online so when they got there it was a wonderful surprise,” said McAvity.
The day started with the first set of opening ceremonies at noon before a group of cancer survivors walked the first lap. After their first full lap, all the other teams joined in.
A second set of opening ceremonies was held at 5:30 p.m. and another survivors lap for those that couldn’t attend the noon lap.
Luminary lanterns were sold for $5 at the event and at 11 p.m. all of them were placed around the track and lit.
“The whole track was outlined with them, and we figure there were 250 or so out there – they were a huge hit,” said McAvity.
“When we did the closing ceremonies and our walk for hope everybody carried a candle … and then passed it from one person to the next on their team and then they just walked the track with the luminaries lit – it was beautiful,” she said.
“It was a wonderful day,” she added.