One day, one night, one fight for Cancer Society
Páirc Charman sports pitch was transformed into a festival village for Wexford's Relay for Life in aid of the Irish Cancer Society which attracted 36 teams of participants who walked and ran continuously for 24 hours.
The event opened with an emotional parade in which 120 survivors of cancer of all ages wearing wore purple t-shirts walked arm in arm around the track and later sat down together for a survivors' lunch in a marquee. It included a Candle of Hope ceremony at night in which over 1,000 candles were lit in decorated bags of sand bearing the name of a loved one who died from the disease.
The teams included the 501st Garrison, a Star Wars fan group led by captain Chris Lewis and Kevin Weaver under the banner 'The Empire Gives Back' who were a big hit with children attending the relay.
Many of the teams set up their own tents selling food, home-made products and raffle tickets and offering activities such as yoga in return for fundraising donations.The inaugural Wexford Relay for Life raised €20,000 in 2016 and the organisers under chairperson Gay Murphy hope to match if not exceed that figure this year.
It will be a few weeks before all the money is counted as some teams are still raising funds. Relay PRO Jenifer Kavanagh said everyone who participated will be invited to a cheque presentation night to be attended by representatives of the Irish Cancer Society.
The Relay for Life committee have received a stream of congratulations and thank you messages from cancer survivors and their families and friends who enjoyed the event.