Sandra Blisken and Byril Kurtz dressed in their best for the survivors’ victory lap at the 2018 Relay for Life. (File photo)

Luminary Walk fills void left by cancellation of Relay for Life

The Salmon Arm Relay for Life is now cancelled indefinitely, but not the Luminary Walk.

The walk will continue this year in June.

The Canadian Cancer Society confirmed last month that it will no longer be holding the relay in the city. The event has been raising funds in the Shuswap since 2003, but the society said it’s become too costly.

“In the coming months we will be consulting with the community to better understand how local philanthropic goals can be met without incurring the significant costs of hosting Relay For Life and will reach out to our volunteers and supporters when we have more information to share,” stated Susan Fekete, communications manager for the society, in April.

Resident Brenda Kurtz, who has volunteered with the relay since its inception, said then that former committee members still want to hold a Luminary Walk. She wrote to council asking permission to hold the walk at Marine Park on June 8.

“We want to still recognize our survivors and caregivers and offer the opportunity for individuals to honour their loved ones by buying luminaries and lighting them on that evening,” she wrote.

She and other organizers have been successful.

Read more: Cancer society explains why Shuswap Relay for Life cancelled

Read more: Salmon Arm braves the windy weather to support Relay for Life

Margaret Hinchliff reports that the Luminary Walk will be going ahead as hoped. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8 with a welcome, followed by musical entertainment.

At 9 p.m. a presenter will speak just prior to the lighting of the luminaries.

Luminaries can be purchased for $5 and decorated at the event, or at the Canadian Cancer Society office on Shuswap Street.

Luminaries but no decorating supplies will also be available at the downtown and uptown Askew’s, as well as Save-On-Foods.

Those attending the event are asked to bring a lawn chair and a canned good for the luminary bag. The canned goods will be donated to a local group.

A large cake and coffee will be served.

Hinchliff, a cancer survivor, says the Luminary Walk was a part of the Relay for Life that people felt very passionate about.

“It really did recognize people who fought cancer and are gone, and those who are still fighting.”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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