The Relay for Life in Grande Prairie has been shortened to six hours this year.
This year there is about 60 people signed up compared to 150 to 200 in previous years.
Chair of the local organizing committee Colton MacDonald says due to the low amount of people signed up, they are making it more family friendly to lure more attendees.
“They actually didn’t plan to have a Relay for Life this year in Grande Prairie. When they built the budget, they didn’t build a line item for how much we were going to raise. We don’t really have a set goal because anything we are going to raise is going to be a success. We just really want to enforce doing as much as we can and showing support as much as we can this year.”
In 2016, close to $50,000 was raised according to MacDonald. He says they are hoping to get enough support and feedback to make it a doable event next year.
“We want to talk to the participants and the community about they want in their Relay. We want to see if they have an interest in volunteering for next year’s event. So, we really listen to the community and take what they want to form it into an event that is still going to be successful.”
The low numbers follow the closure of the local Canadian Cancer Society office in the spring. MacDonald attributes the low participation to over-saturation of fundraisers in Grande Prairie, a recovering economy, and the previous overnight hours of the event. In years prior, it was held at the Entrec Centre at Evergreen Park. To make it easier for families and people in the city to get there, it has been moved to the Eastlink Centre’s Fieldhouse.
It costs $15 to participate and anyone can join last minute. Relay for Life goes Saturday at the Eastlink Centre from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. MacDonald encourages people to come out, even if it is just for a short while.
Photo courtesy of the Canadian Cancer Society Facebook page