Relay a swinging good time

DESPITE contending with a cyclone and a last minute venue change, the weekend's Relay for Life has been declared a success by committee members.

A final tally of funds raised from the event for the Queensland Cancer Council will not be made until June but it is expected that the total will be in the region of $30,000.

The committee's initial target was $50,000 and that is expected to be exceeded when the weekend's total is combined with funds raised at the Bowen Relay, which is still to be held next month.

Intermittent showers failed to put a dampener on the Whitsunday event, which was held on the Aussie Rules oval at the Whitsunday Sports Park from 3pm on Saturday until 9am on Sunday.

The sports park was chosen as an alternative venue to the Proserpine Showgrounds when it became clear, less than a week out from the event, that the Showgrounds would not meet occupational health and safety standards after taking damage during Cyclone Ului.

Of the 25 teams that nominated, 23 turned up with the number of registered participants peaking at 370.

The ‘Swinging 60's' theme was adhered to in good spirit and the participants were entertained with live music, games, a jumping castle and other activities throughout the course of the event.

There was also about 15 cancer survivors involved in the event's opening ‘Survivors' Walk' and the weather cleared in perfect time for one of the Relay's highlights, the candle lighting ceremony.

Whitsunday Relay for Life chair Corrine Hendrikse-Vinci was pleased with the way her first Relay in charge panned out.

“It was really good,” she said.

“The spirit that people participated in was great and the whole event was really positive.”

Mrs Hendrikse-Vinci singled out the candle lighting ceremony – a ritual performed to remember people lost to cancer – held at 7pm on Saturday as the highlight.

“We had great weather for the candle lighting ceremony,” she said.

“The sky opened up, the stars came out and it became really nice and balmy.”

There were several winners in all kinds of different categories on the night.

Some of them were:

Best tent site – Winner: Hippy Schmippy's; Runner-up: Team Neato

Best dressed – Barry Turner (dressed as 60's singer Demis Roussos)

Best baton – Proserpine Hospital Team

There was also a trophy awarded to the winner of the inaugural midnight undies dash, which about 25 people of all ages took part in.


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