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Relay for Life Bundaberg

Celebrating 20 years in the community Relay for Life has helped to rally locals together in Bundaberg to raise $1.8 million to help Cancer Council Queensland support people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Senior Community Development Specialist Rebecca Field shares the not-for-profit organisation’s 20-year history.

Tell us about Relay for Life?

Bundaberg Fraser Coast Relay for Life is an annual event that raises much needed funds for Cancer Council by bringing the community together for a common cause.

In 2023, the volunteer organising committee will be recruiting teams of locals to join in an event that is fun and takes people on an awareness journey about cancer through its elements of Celebrate, Remember and Fightback.

Participants in teams take turns at taking an individualised baton around the relay track with at least one member of the team on the track the entire event.

Why is this year so special?

2023 is the 20th annual Cancer Council Queensland Relay for Life event held in Bundaberg.

Our survivors and carers walk is a significant moment as we witness and celebrate those who have been down the path of cancer diagnosis and treatment and have beaten this disease.

If you’re a cancer survivor and/or cared for someone who has experienced cancer; you are invited to join us for a very special lap of honour at the start of Relay for Life.

Survivors and carers do a lap of our relay track as a group whilst everyone else assembles around the track to celebrate them and the inspiration that even when you hear the word Cancer you know that there is hope!

Cancer is an indiscriminate disease that can strike anyone in the community.

Because of this, Relay for Life is more than just a fundraising event.

The event is designed to take participants on a journey as they celebrate those that have fought the battle against cancer and won, remember those who have fought the battle and not survived, and commit to continuing the fightback against the disease.

Relay is also about educating each other and the wider community. 

Fundraising money from Bundaberg positively impacts all regional cancer patients.

Bundaberg contributes to a local wigs and turbans service that allows patients to choose a wig, hat, scarf or turban that feel comfortable in.

The money Bundaberg has contributed through Relay for Life continues to help fund accommodation lodges that cancer patients travelling to Brisbane for treatment can take advantage of.

It has also contributed to ensuring that the 131120 helpline is available for anyone dealing with cancer is available Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.

This helpline provides cancer information, as well as emotional and practical support.

We can also refer you to Cancer Council Queensland’s support program and services.

Most importantly fundraising dollars are put back into research.

Cancer Council Queensland research is directed at understanding how to prevent cancer, how to diagnose cancer earlier, how to help patients achieve the best possible quality of life after a cancer diagnosis, and how to best support cancer patients and their families.

What’s Bundaberg’s Relay for Life's history?

Since Relay for Life began in Bundaberg in 2004, the Bundaberg community has raised over 1.8 million dollars for Cancer Council Queensland.

This is despite floods, drought, rises in cost of living and a global pandemic.

Relay for Life has changed over the years. The event has changed venues, changed organising committees, teams have come and gone, and even the format has changed from an 18-hour event originally to a virtual 4-hour event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now to a 9 hour format.

What hasn’t changed is Bundaberg’s passion and commitment to raising money for Cancer Council Queensland with Relay for Life being one of the most popular events among schools and workplaces to come together as a team to support.

The message also hasn’t changed – Celebrate, Remember and Fightback.

One of the more extreme and memorable fundraising efforts was a run in 2010 from Brisbane to Bundaberg culminating in an arrival at the Relay for Life Event at the old showgrounds.

Why is the group important to the Bundaberg Region?

Relay for Life allows the local community to engage with fundraising for a cause that aims to not only find a cure and treatment for cancer; but also to assist patients and family members through their cancer journey; and educate on the cause and prevention of cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland is one of Australia’s leading and most highly rated charities involving itself in the support of those impacted by ALL cancers.

Relay provides everyone with the opportunity to share their own story about how cancer has impacted their life.

Whether it’s from the loss of a friend or family member or just the toll the diagnosis and treatment takes on the entire community of a patient.

Relay for Life is fun.

Most of the hard work of fundraising is done before the event itself, allowing participants to enjoy a theme, dress up, create memories as they take to the track and enjoy the relay aspect as they take turns in representing their team on the relay track the entire event.

There is also live entertainment from local performers who donate their time and talent in supporting the cause of raising money in the fightback against cancer.

How can the community become involved?

This year’s Bundaberg Fraser Coast Relay for Life will be held at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct on October 21 from noon until 9 pm.

Taking part in this year’s Relay for Life is easy. Firstly, ask some friends or colleagues or family members to form a Relay team.

Then sign up yourself, and any others on your team, by clicking here.

Once you’ve signed up you will be given assistance to do as much fundraising as your time and imagination allows as everyone involved in this year’s Relay works towards raising $105,000.

Also join our Facebook group for all the latest information about the event, what’s happening on the day and how they can get involved with volunteering and event organisation.

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