Luminaries at Relay for Life. -Image credit: Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer

Relay harnesses generosity

Cancer brought people together in Salmon Arm once again – to grieve, to celebrate, to raise money so fewer people will become ill and more will have support.

It’s been said before but it’s worth repeating often. This community comes together to support its fellow citizens and the causes dear to them with great energy, generosity and kindness.

This year’s Relay for Life raised more than $91,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society, up from $76,000 last year.

Eighteen teams participated – also up from last year – and nearly 70 survivors participated in the initial victory lap.

Many team members participate year after year, many volunteers help out year after year, many residents donate year after year. Salmon Arm is a town with a big heart.

The Canadian Cancer Society website outlines the impact of donations. While a large chunk goes to cancer research, the funds raised help in several other ways. People are provided with trips to cancer-related appointments. Resources and information are provided to people with cancer and their families. Survival rates from cancer are increased with better treatments and other resources. The society lobbies to help increase benefits for caregivers and for bans on flavoured tobacco. The society provides a smokers’ helpline to help those who are trying to quit.

Relay for Life happens just once a year, but there are also daily ways to make a difference.

Environmental factors are known to contribute to cancer, so protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat through our actions daily is equally important.

As this community demonstrates year after year, when we work together, we can achieve just about anything.

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