IN SUPPORT: Cancer survivor Bessie Simpson with Federal MP for Dawson George Christensen and fellow Cancer survivor Edith Forse who foundered the Relay for Life in the Whitsundays.
IN SUPPORT: Cancer survivor Bessie Simpson with Federal MP for Dawson George Christensen and fellow Cancer survivor Edith Forse who foundered the Relay for Life in the Whitsundays.

Community rallies at Relay for Life

MORE than 500 local residents in 40 active teams poured through the gates of the Proserpine Showgrounds on Saturday, in high spirits for the 2013 Relay for Life event.

Relay co-ordinator Jeff Hardie said the Whitsunday Relay for Life smashed its initial target of $45,000 with total fundraising efforts now expected to raise more than $52,000.

"The Whitsunday community really got behind the theme Around the World: Passport to Hope with their brilliant costumes and decorated stands," he said.

Relay patron Dr Shaun Grimes and face of Relay for Life Sarah Money lead the opening ceremony by cutting the ribbon to honour cancer survivors and their carers who were invited to walk the first lap to the applause of supporters.

Teams of 10-15 people in outfits from every corner of the globe then took to the track in their extravagant costumes to kick off the 18 hour relay.

A number of local artists including Tony Herbert, band Krash and Marley Hole provided the entertainment which all the teams enjoyed.

Mr Hardie said one of the highlights was the team from Alaska who won the Relay For Life best dressed competition.

"Whitsunday Dance Connection went to a huge amount of effort to bring Alaska to the relay with their snow leopards, huskies, yetis, igloos and dog sled," he said.

Chairperson of the organising committee Wendy Barker said the candlelight ceremony gave people the opportunity to remember someone who has lost their battle with cancer and to support those who are currently battling the disease.

Mr Hardie urges all residents who haven't been involved already to jump on board for the relay's 10th birthday next year.


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