Walkers on course to hit Relay's $1m target
NEXT year's Relay for Life will be Ipswich's 10th, but an even more impressive milestone beckons.
With the overall fundraising tally for Ipswich's annual event reaching $998,000 after the last event, the city's walkers are preparing to crack the $1 million mark on April 20 and 21 next year.
The Aussies Against Cancer team, which has been involved in the local Relay for Life for the past nine years, is already excited about the next fundraiser and is calling for Ipswich people to get involved.
Teams of between 10 and 15 can join the relay for a miserly registration fee of $20, which entitles them to a T-shirt, free breakfast and most importantly, the chance to make a difference for people who are suffering from cancer.
Aussies Against Cancer team captain Tarana Cruice said the event had grown from about 50 teams in 2004 to more than 100 teams in 2010.
There was a slight drop-off in numbers after 2011 - attributed to the floods - but organisers were confident of a resurgence again next April.
"The relay goes for 18 hours, with cancer survivors and carers doing the first lap of the course before being treated to afternoon tea," Mrs Cruice said.
"When they finish, all the teams will fall in for one lap. Then on the third lap, the first walkers from each team will begin."
The relay goes through the night, with live entertainment and a special candle-lighting ceremony providing some inspiration to the tired-legged participants.
Interestingly, two from the Aussies' team have been diagnosed with cancer in the past nine years.
Nev Turner, who was diagnosed in 2006, said his problems had made him realise just how important services for cancer patients were.
"I don't see the relay as being too much of a physical drain," Mr Turner said. "I think everyone can miss a nights sleep without getting too weary."
Next year's relay will be held at Jim Finnimore Oval.
Anyone who wishes to get involved with their own team can contact Tarana Cruice directly on 3281 4783, or visit the website at relayforlife.org.au.