Rain fails to wa­ter down fun

Matamata Chronicle - - News/opinion -

Bad weather caused Re­lay For Life 2011 to be short­ened but the fundraiser was still a huge suc­cess, with over $120,000 raised by the clos­ing cer­e­mony.

The prizes for top fundrais­ing were taken out by the Co­mag Cruiz­ers from Mata­mata and Fruit For Life from Hamil­ton.

The event, which nor­mally runs for 22 hours, be­gan at 2pm on Satur­day March 5 and fin­ished at 7pm, with or­gan­is­ers run­ning a con­densed, turbo ver­sion.

More fundrais­ing is ex­pected to come in over the com­ing weeks.

Events co-or­di­na­tor Ca­tri­ona Findlay said short­en­ing the re­lay was a tough de­ci­sion but it had to hap­pen due to the bad weather.

‘‘It rained all Fri­day af­ter­noon dur­ing set-up and most of Satur­day; we didn’t want peo­ple get­ting cold and wet through­out the night so we de­cided on Satur­day morn­ing to run a turbo ver­sion. Re­lay is a re­ally fun event and we wanted peo­ple to en­joy it rather than en­dure it!’’ Ms Findlay said.

The open­ing cer­e­mony and sur­vivors lap took place as usual at 2pm.

De­spite the rain, over 130 peo­ple took part in the open­ing lap, cel­e­brat­ing their sur­vival against cancer.

The Can­dle­light Cer­e­mony, a high­light of Re­lay For Life, was un­able to take place. The so­ci­ety is en­deav­our­ing to or­gan­ise an al­ter­na­tive cer­e­mony so that ev­ery­one in­volved still has the op­por­tu­nity to gather to­gether and re­mem­ber their loved ones lost to cancer.

At the clos­ing cer­e­mony at 7pm prizes were awarded to teams for fundrais­ing and cos­tumes.

Break­fast, which was meant to be served to teams on Sun­day morn­ing, was served from 4pm on Satur­day af­ter­noon, adding ex­tra nov­elty.

Ms Findlay said de­spite the im­pro­vised lay­out the event was a huge suc­cess.

‘‘Peo­ple were hav­ing a fan­tas­tic time. Ev­ery­one puts a huge amount of ef­fort in be­fore the event so it was great to see them mak­ing the most of it. We had peo­ple dancing in and even do­ing Zumba in the rain and teams all braved the cold to wear their cos­tumes,’’ Ms Findlay said.

It is the first time in its eight year his­tory that the event has been al­tered in Hamil­ton ue to bad weather.

Mata­mata’s own: The Co­mag Cruis­ers Re­lay for Life team took out one of the prizes for top fundrais­ing at Re­lay for Life 2011.

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