Rain fails to water down fun
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.