After receiving low numbers, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life was cancelled in Fort St. John and other communities. When this happened, Brenda Baumeister decided to look for the silver lining.
She said this became an opportunity to create independent fundraisers with the Canadian Cancer Society that the community could call their own and manage with their own unique rules.
“Even though the Relay of Life is no longer, we can now show everyone, as a community, what we can do out of just a whole pile of fun,” Baumeister said.
To replace the summer-based Relay for Life is the Carnival of Hope, which Baumeister hopes will unite the community with carnival games, including a dunk tank, a movie, and a memorial for those lost to cancer.
The first meeting to start officially planning the Carnival of Hope is on Thursday, October 29th at 6 PM. Anyone interested in helping organize the event is invited – it will be at the Fort St. John Cancer Society Office (at the community bridge across from the Post Office.)
Already planned is the Canadian Country Christmas, coming up on Sunday, December 6th. It will be at the Charlie Lake Community Hall. Doors open at 6 PM, and the show starts at 7 PM. They will be selling popcorn, with an open bar and safe rides home available.
“I really feel that in a community like Fort St. John, we have so many wonderful people here who love, who share whatever they can. $10 goes a long way,” she added.
Following the removal of Relay for Life in Fort St. John, the Canadian Cancer Society issued a statement:
For more than 10 years, the community and volunteers of Fort St. John have been dedicated supporters of the Canadian Cancer Society through events like Relay For Life. As we gear up for next year, we are pleased to share some exciting changes being planned for 2016 including two new events being developed: Carnival for Hope and the Daffodil Dash – a family-oriented 1km and 5km fun run – to reenergize the spirit of Relay.
Large, national fundraising events require a significant amount of time and resources from numerous people. The Society listened volunteer and community feedback, saw declining participation and recognized a need to offer better, more flexible event options for greater community involvement. We are excited with these new events and to be beginning a new chapter of Relay in Fort St. John.