Redlands Relay For Life 2014!

The Cleveland showgrounds are alight with candles; the grounds are covered in tents, laughter and song echo across the field, a bell tolls in the distance…everyone is here to celebrate one thing: the 2014 Cancer Council’s Relay For Life!

On the 22-23rd of March, Cancer Council’s Redlands Relay For Life raised an astounding $47,820! The Cancer Council is Australia’s leading cancer charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, and the funds raised go towards vital cancer research into cancer  detection and prevention that will support all Queenslanders affected by cancer.

The astonishing amount of money raised was made possible by the combined efforts Relay For Life Coordinator Ana Russell, Redland patron and city councillor Wendy Boglary, and the dedicated Relay For Life committee team. More than 400 people participated in the continuous walk around the showgrounds, which started at 3pm on Saturday afternoon and ended at 9am on Sunday morning. Most of the participants camped overnight around the sidelines of the ground, with many of them circling the track until the early hours of the morning.

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[Pictured: RFL Committee team]

Mel and Rob from Team For Hope said Relay For Life had “a really awesome sense of community. Half the fun of Relay is setting up the tent village, the kids playing in the tents. It’s a nice ambience; it’s such a nice atmosphere.”   

And what an amazing two days it was! Redlands Relay For Life 2014 was a truly fantastic experience and great opportunity for Redlands locals to get together with their community and celebrate the lives of loved ones with cancer, remember those who have passed, and fight back against the disease by banding together raising money for continued research to find a cure.                                   

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Margaret Bina, of the Precious Princesses team, said Relay For Life “was awesome. It was moving, challenging, [but it] kept us going. It was easier than stopping. [It was] well organised, [and] my favourite part was the bagpipes.”  

Maxwell Bissett, the Town Crier, said, “the ceremony last night was the best. Seeing everyone enjoying themselves. As a cancer survivor myself I know what it’s all about.”

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[Pictured: Redland Town Crier Max Bissett, Cr Wendy Boglary and RFL committee memeber]

Gina Limpus and Indea Sekula, who have previously sung as Christmas by Starlight, received great praise for their performance, said they’d definitely come back. Limpus said the experience was  “lovely and fun.”

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[Pictured: Gina Limpus and Indea Sekula]

Singer/songwriter Dakota Striplin, a local of Redland Bay and singing veteran of Relay For Life, has previously performed at the event three times before. Striplin said the experience this year was “awesome,” and that is was great “seeing so many people coming together for a great cause. It’s great to have a gift and share it with people. I’ll definitely come again.”

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[Pictured: Cleveland RSL women’s marching band]

Canadian Irish Graeme Moes also graced the crowd with his vocal talent. Moes said, “I was late, and wasn’t in my mood when I came here,” however the encouragement of the crowd got him going. He sings covers he likes doing. “If it speaks to me, it speaks to me. I like songs with a bluesy vibe.” He is influenced by “Jimi Hendrix, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jason Mraz.”

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[Pictured: Graeme Moes. https://myspace.com/grahamoes]

Amongst the crowd was the 2014 Face Of Relay, Camilla Rowe. A veteran of Relay, Rowe has been running her Personal Training and Bootcamps in the Bayside area for the past seven years, and was honoured to read the relay oath this year.

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[Camilla Rowe leading the conga line]

With such an amazing array of talent, is was hard to imagine the crowd quieting down. However, by Saturday night, the hundreds of participants stood in silence during the bagpipe-led candlelit ceremony to commemorate those who had passed away from cancer. The sombre moment was accompanied by a slideshow of pictures of loved ones urging the Relayers on to continue with their mission in supporting the Cancer Council’s efforts in finding a cure.

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If you are interested in joining the 2015 Redlands Relay For Life committee and are looking to help shape the future of the Redlands Relay For Life please email Ana Russell at anarussell@cancerqld.org.au or phone 07 3634 5102.

Claire Fitzpatrick is studying HR and Politics at Griffith University and Psychology at RMIT. She thinks Jon Snow is a Targaryen, and Pulp Fiction is the greatest movie of all time. In her spare time she writes about the Vietnam War and chases after a toddler who constantly steals her bookmarks.

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