Peterhead’s seventh Relay For Life in aid of Cancer Research UK was held recently at the town’s Lord Catto Park.
Twelve teams raised an astonishing £140,593.89 by the end of the weekend, with Peterhead breaking their own record of highest average raised per team and raised it to £11,716.15.
Peterhead are the only Relay in the UK to have raised more than £100,000 four years in a row. It makes Peterhead without a doubt the most successful annual Relay For Life event in the UK.
Speaking to the Buchanie, event chair, Angie Shearer said: “Raising this incredible amount of money four years in a row proves just how generous and supportive this amazing community is.
“To raise over £140k with only 12 teams is incredible! Shetland announced £195,000 on the day earlier this year, an amazing total, but to put it into perspective they had 134 teams to raise that amount of money! I can’t thank this community and the teams enough for their neverending generosity which is ultimately helping to save lives!”
“It has been a true team effort by everyone involved in the community and thanks must go to the Peterhead Relay For Life sponsors - Total, Asco, Labtech, Waves Radio and Huntly Vehicle Care Centre and everyone who gave donations or gifts in kind to support their local Relay.”
After the opening ceremony speeches by Angie, survivor Louise Cook and Cancer Research UK scientist, Liam Faller from the Beatson Institute in Glasgow, Fraserburgh Pipe Band led the survivors’ round their Lap of Honour.
Almost 40 cancer survivors walked the opening lap supported by their carers and cheered on by teams spread round the track. All the survivors and their carers were then treated in the marquee to refreshments, sausage rolls and fancy pieces. They also received a gift and certificate for taking part.
Peterhead woman Kathleen Chalmers from the Hells’ Kitchen 2 team said: “What was special for me and others, was just seeing the amount of people who came along despite the weather, even survivors who had chemo the day before came to walk the survivors lap - doesn’t that say something..... don’t fear it fight it!
“It was great to see all the young ones involved this year in teams and behind the scenes - the whole event was just magic!”
Carol Meres another member of Hells’ Kitchen 2 said: “We are hardy annuals and The Relay for Life allows us to flourish year on year. Despite the weather, we gather together and dig deep to allow our total to grow.
“The Enthusiasm and obvious dedication that goes into making The Relay such a success, spurs everyone on, along with everyone’s genuine desire to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.”
Scientist Mr Faller was present at the event to answer questions about the research Cancer Research UK carries out at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow.
It was discovered that one of the scientists in Scotland who is funded by Cancer Research UK is a world leader in her research and has been granted money by the Rockefeller family in New York because of her fantastic work.
Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding, so events like Relay For Life are so important to fund that world class research.
Teams didn’t let the weather dampen their spirits, it was a great atmosphere and one participant said ‘Rain, what rain?!’. That’s exactly how the teams took on the challenge of completing the 24 hours in the worst conditions the Peterhead Relay has seen in the last seven years.
The teams put in a tremendous amount of work to their team costumes once again. Peterhead’s Blue Toon Buddies, led by team captain Joyce Cameron won the Best Dressed Team competition with their space theme – blasting cancer into the past.
The Wavettes came second with their Hawaiian theme led by team captain Kathryn Melvin and they also earned second place in the Best Dressed Tent competition and first place in the Celebrity Pairs competition.
The Best Dressed Tent competition was won by Kathleen Chalmers’ team Hells’ Kitchen 2 with their wonderful garden/flowers theme and they were also second in the Best Team Banner competition – “We’re blooming, help us nip it (cancer) in the bud”.
There was lots of other fun and games throughout the afternoon, which the rain failed to spoil. The teams competed against each other in the tug of war, penalty shoot out, Mr & Mrs, Relay’s Got Talent and lots more.
In the evening the poignant Candle of Hope ceremony took place. Remarkably, the rain stopped for the duration of the ceremony. Visitors and participants walked a lap of reflection led by a piper.
A powerpoint presentation was shown with the names which were on many of the candles while Alan Shearer, brother of Angie sang live.
Afterwards the Heroes of Hope presentation was shown to music, inspirational messages with photos of cancer survivors to give participants hope and motivation to carry on during the early hours of the morning.
The word ‘Cure’ spelt out with candles was then lifted above the lorry into the air. The rain came back on for a while but many of the candles continued to flicker away for hours afterwards.
Reflecting on the past seven years, Angie who is stepping down as event chair, said: “Peterhead’s Relay For Life has now raised more than £650,000 for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work – because of the fundraising this community is doing today, you are helping to find tomorrow’s cures!
“You are all part of a bigger team, not just in Peterhead, or Scotland or the UK, but part of a worldwide fight against cancer with over 20 countries in the world taking part in Relay For Life to beat cancer!
“Keep up the amazing work and please continue to support the new committee as they take on the organising of Relay For Life 2013!”
“Being involved in Relay For Life has changed my life, it is the best event in the world, with the most amazing and inspirational people that I have ever met and I know this community won’t stop until we beat cancer!
“It has been a privilege to have been Eventchair of Relay For Life Peterhead for the last seven years and a privilege to get to know you all!
“I can’t thank the teams, survivors and wider community enough for their support of Relay For Life. We raise amazing amounts of money each year, but we all know Relay For Life is so much more than that. It gives the community hope, that we are making a difference.
“I have met the most incredible people, made many friendships that I will treasure forever and have so many memories that I will cherish – that money can’t buy!”
A Relay After Party will be held at Buchanhaven Hearts club on Friday, August 31, to celebrate the announcement of the final total for 2012.