Life walkers: Gemma Keers, Alana Griffiths, Jodie Cooper and Molly Jensen during the sodden Bellingen Relay for Life.
Life walkers: Gemma Keers, Alana Griffiths, Jodie Cooper and Molly Jensen during the sodden Bellingen Relay for Life. Leigh Jensen

Funds pour in for Bellingen relay

THE determination of Bellingen residents to contribute to the fight against cancer shone through on the weekend.

Despite rain which at times bordered on torrential around 150 of them took part in the Relay for Life.

The chair of the Relay Committee Robyn Hawkshaw said the determination of participants to push on through the rain was inspirational.

“Our numbers were down due to the rain but those who took part did so with great enthusiasm and good humour,” Ms Hawkshaw said.

“They got soaked to the bone but pushed on regardless.

“They really deserve our congratulations and gratitude for persevering when it would have been much easier to go home and have a cuppa.”

Ms Hawkshaw said the rain had thrown the plans for the relay into chaos ahead of the Saturday’s 3pm start.

“We had to move our ceremonies and entertainment inside the pavilion at the showground and it absolutely bucketed down during the traditional survivors walk.

“Among the highlights were the opening by a local primary school student and cancer patient Rowan Clarkson and Michael Crossland’s address during the candle lighting ceremony. The heavens really opened during that but remarkably lots of the candles kept flickering.

“When we saw the sun shine through this morning (Sunday) it lifted everyone’s spirits.”

Ms Hawkshaw said she expected the event would raise about $28,000 for the Cancer Council.

“I suspect that when the finally tally is completed we will have raised more than $30,000 which is a fantastic effort considering the rain.

“We had a fantastic organising committee and the whole Bellingen community did a great job supporting the relay.”

The Relay for Life rotates around the Bellingen Shire and will next year be held in Urunga.

Last year’s relay in Dorrigo was also a washout.



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