Relay For Life Huntly raises huge sum

The first Relay for Life in Huntly met with a huge success last weekend when it was announced at 12.00 noon on 28 June that £50,685.58 had been raised.

The fundraising money comes from the hard work of the 33 registered teams, 51 registered survivors and a strong committee of 12 volunteers who united to beat cancer by fundraising in support of Cancer Research UK over just 7 months.

The committee Chair, Nathalie Grant, 38, of Huntly, (Modern Languages Teacher at The Gordon Schools, Huntly) was inspired by the Relay For Life in Peterhead that she attended as her husband Nom Grant, a cancer survivor, had been invited to open the relay with the Lap of Honour, a first lap walked by survivors, the Guests of Honour. A relay in Huntly was confirmed in November when a full committee was set up and preparations for the 24-hour event started in full swing.
Unexpectedly, Pipeline Technique Ltd, a oil-related local Business, volunteered to become the main sponsor of Relay For Life Huntly, having sponsored a substantial amount of money towards the fundraising event. “This is truly amazing, for a first year Relay to have such success at an early stage I have not heard of in a long time, it re-iterates to me how fantastic people like yourselves are who volunteer for Cancer Research UK.  It's a great reward for your hard work, and I can't wait to see how the event progresses in the months to come!!” Louise Robertson, Senior Relay Development Executive, Cancer Research UK

“I would like to say congratulations on behalf of all the Bright Sparks team.   Relay For life Huntly was a credit to all the organizers, well done!!!!!!!  We can’t wait till next year.
Kind Regards”,
Tracy Nicol, Team member, Pipeline Technique Ltd, Main Sponsor
“Many thanks for such an amazing time at the relay on Saturday.  It was a privilege to take part in such a great event.  Hope this is the start of many more relays at Huntly.  Keep up the good work!!!!”
Dorothy Findlay, Survivor, Buckie Cancer Support Group

“What an achievement. The whole day was wonderful with the weather also on our side. We cannot thank you enough for al your hard work and organisation. As survivors we were all made to feel extra special and loved every minute of the experience. The trip on the bus was a delight and the visit the Chapel was most interesting and informative, our guide, driver and conductor were to be commended for their efforts. So many people mention that they hoped it would be a yearly occasion and the comments were "how could you improve on this one"? , a great credit to you and your team. The Candle ceremony was very moving.
I am sure you will have raised a tremendous donation for Cancer Research UK.
Many many, thanks from us all at Keith Cancer Link.  A great day with wonderful people to share it.”
Adeline Reid, Survivor, Keith Cancer Link Chair
“Just a note to thank you and your team for such a wonderful 24 hours. We had a really wonderful time and the news today of all the money you have raised makes it all the better.  Thanks once again.”
Janice McGregor, survivor

“On behalf of the Jubilee Jollies team I would like to thank you all for your hard work in organising what turned out to be a fantastic event this weekend.  Every comment we heard was positive and we hope you can now get a rest from your labours!  Everyone in our team had a great time and enjoyed all the entertainment, catering, stalls, etc.  It was also very emotional but extremely memorable. Thank you once again. Kind Regards.”
Jenny Smith, Team Captain, Jubilee Jollies

“Thank you so much for such a wonderful day.  It was such a moving experience taking part as a survivor and also meeting so many lovely people and sharing their experiences. I know so much work must go on before such a can take place and you did everyone proud. Hopefully next time we can take part as a 'relay team'.  I look forward to it!
Thank you once again,Best wishes”,
Karen Cormack, Survivor, Buckie Cancer Support Group

 “Thank you for bringing Relay For Life to Huntly. Without you this event would never have gone ahead. I feel very proud to have been involved with the event and have enjoyed every minute. Words cannot describe how much this has meant to us. Unfortunately my family has been affected many times by cancer and the Relay For Life has been a fantastic tribute to their courage and bravery.”
“The last 8 months have been fantastic. Felt amazingly proud yesterday to be a part of it. Thank you so much for making it possible.”
Zoe King and Lesley Pirie, Candle of Hope Chairs, Relay For Life Huntly 2009
“What a brilliant result and I'm sure there's more to come (we are still receiving donations). Most of the team that were still able to speak at the end on Sunday said they'd come back next year - go for it! Thanks for a wonderful & emotional 24 hours.”
Dave Salmon, Team Captain, Red Rubies

“I visited the event three times during the course of the weekend.  Well done to all!  What I saw through my bleary eyes was brilliant and the total raised amazing.”
Bob Munro, RAM (Huntly) Ltd, Sponsor
"What a fantastic weekend for the Relay For Life Huntly 2009, I was delighted to see such a wonderful Community embrace Relay For Life, everyone had such a fantastic time and the weather was certainly on their side the sun shone over the 24 hours!, To have 51 survivors there on the day, was a great inspiration especially for all the teams who had worked so incredibly hard fundraising, and for the Committee who had worked tirelessly to make the event a success.  Cancer Research UK are the worlds largest organisation in Cancer Research, the work we do would not be possible without the support of our Volunteers and our supporters, we are incredibly grateful to the community of Huntly of supporting Relay Fro Life and Cancer Research UK and raising a phenomenal £51,000.
89 Relays take place in the UK this year and we are looking to raise £3.6 million pounds from Relay For Life, on the 27th & 28th June the Community of Huntly came together to make a difference in people's lives and I believe they did this with a smile, a tear, and a 24 hours none of them will ever forget. I am inspired by their hard work their determination and I am incredibly delighted to have experienced the event over the 24 hours."
Louise Robertson, Senior Relay Development Executive, Cancer Research UK

Entertainment: Present were the following acts who offered to entertain 468 registered team members and survivors and an audience of approximately 1,000:

Cait & Annie Lennox, Strathbogie Fiddlers, Inspire Choir, Erin Lawrence School of Dance, Michael MacLennan, Junior Huntly Pipe Band, Senior Girls Vocal Group, George Reid, Jenna Cameron
Scottish Country Dancing, Jessiman School of Dance, Keith & Pam Cockburn, Brenda Gordon School of Dance, Ciara Ennis, Estrella, Project Zero, Acoustic Session, Aerobic Warm Up, Atholl & Ian Jazz Band, Jessiman School of Dance, Skip to the Beat

Between acts, a few health-promoting races had been organised:
Three-Legged Race, Obstacle Race, Sack Race, Look after No 1 Race, Catch the Train Race, Pyjama Race and Tug O'War.

By the tents, the Tranquillity Town Cowboys performed a few comedy shooting acts, Brogan’s offered the choice of three bouncy castles and the Forestry Commission had three games made out of wood. Children could also play football while some stalls provided tattoos, nail painting and candle of Hope bags decorations.

24-hour catering:
Food and drink was supplied for the whole duration of the relay with plenty of carbohydrates between 11am on Saturday and 2am on Sunday: pancakes from Margaret Paterson & WRI, sandwiches from Merry Kettle Tea Shoppe, lasagne, soup, stovies, curry and rice from Park Lane, burgers and chips from G & M Whyte.

Between 2am and 5am relayers were given complimentary satsumas, bananas, tangerines, dried raisin mixes and fruity oatcakes as a 5-a-day promotion and to provide an alternative to hot food that had ran out from all the food stall holders!

From 5am until 12.15pm relayers could help themselves to complimentary croissants and butteries from Sinclair’s, then to burgers from Forbes Raeburn & Sons with 100% proceeds going to Relay For Life Huntly.

Throughout the event, the Tesco teams gave away bottled water and milk to all while Crown Bar gave away flavoured water. The donated teas and coffees were free of charge to all participants over the 24 hours and could be enjoyed with complimentary shortbread from Dean’s.
To cool off the participants in the hot weather, Tesco provided free 100% fruit frozen smoothies while Frankie's Ices sold award-winning Rizza’s ice cream to members of the public and participants alike from 12pm until 8am.

The Survivors, our Guests of Honour, were welcomed at 11am with complimentary teas, coffees and a selection of Survivors Cakes 1 from J. &I. Smith Bakery and 1 from Sheila Cobban, as well as complimentary biscuits by Murdoch Allan Bakery and received 2 pieces of fruit in their goody bag kindly donated by Asda.

The relayers also received a surprise goody bag from Tesco, which included sun cream and a large bottle of water amongst other things.

The water could be shared out between the team members thanks to GetAbout, an organisation that encourages walking and cycling, who gave away cups and glasses to all participants.

Beside making regular health announcements via the microphone, Prevention and early detection were promoted at the many stalls that were visited by participants and members of the public. These included:
Macmillan Cancer Support; CLAN – Cancer Link Aberdeen and North
UCAN – Urological Cancer (North of Scotland); GetAbout – A partnership promoting healthy, active and sustainable travel; NHS Grampian; Gordon Rural Action – Befrienders; Understanding Cancer – A Cancer Information Service in North East Scotland; Jude Paterson – Nutritional Therapist
Huntly Sports Associations

+ literature or displays from:
The Food Standards Agency, The British Heart Foundation, Scottish Slimmers, TechFest – Aberdeen science and technology festival, Health Scotland Library

Joan’s story:
“In 1993 I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. A hysterectomy followed and, although I needed no further treatment, I had follow up appointments with an oncologist for 5 years.
As this put me into premature menopause, I was prescribed Hormone Replacement
Placement Therapy (H R T) .After being on this for about 12 years, my doctor said that I should stop taking H R T. After many years of study, it was found that H R T may cause breast cancer. In 2007 as part of a regular mammogram; a very astute technician spotted something irregular. A subsequent biopsy revealed cancerous cells in my left breast.
In December of 2007 I had a mastectomy and at my next appointment with my surgeon, I was told that I had to go through more surgery to remove more lymph nodes.
I have endured 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 20 days of radiation and as hard as that was, I’ve survived. Thanks to an awesome team of cancer specialists at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and with the wonderful support from both my sisters in Scotland, I’m still here to relate my story!!!  
Having moved to Campbell River on Vancouver Island in January,  I will be walking the survivor's lap in the Campbell River B.C. Relay for Life on June 12th 2009.
As my sister Jenny is part of the Huntly Relay For Life committee, I am looking forward to walking the survivor’s lap on 27th June  with both her and  Sandra my other sister.  
Homecoming is one of the reasons that I will be in Huntly for the Relay For Life,the other is that I am a breast cancer survivor.
To those people who are also survivors like I am, get out there and tell your story, support each other and give generously to the Cancer Fund so that Together, We Can Find the Cure”.
Joan Sherlow, Survivor (Campbell River B.C., Canada)

Pictured are Event Chair, Nathalie Grant and Neil Gray, Team member of the Scared Fitless Team
My quote as Event Chair: I am still overwhelmed by the amount of support the first relay in Huntly has generated. I was just interested in organising a 10-team relay with a handful of survivors for the Lap of Honour and aiming to raise £15,000 for Cancer Research UK. As time progressed though, more teams and survivors started to join. I am still struggling to comprehend how this relay turned into one of the biggest ones in the UK. My dad would have been very proud of me had he been there but I am sure that like many others who have lost someone close to their heart, the relay did bring their loved ones alive if just at the Candle of Hope Ceremony where candles are lit in memory of someone who was touched by cancer. The preparation for the event was time-consuming and stressful at times but worth it when it all came together. The response from the teams, survivors, sponsors and the committee are testimony to this. I am very touched by the flowers, cards and emails I have received so far and grateful for the trust Cancer Research UK has given me in organising a memorable, magic and moving event. The success could not have come at a better time than during Homecoming 2009 as the relay has been able to showcase the best that the North-East has to offer: talent, generosity, camaraderie. –In memory of my dad, Andre, who died of lung cancer in 2007, and of Amber, a 14-year old pupil who died of leukaemia in 2008.
Relay For Life is about being a community that unites to help cure cancer faster.
Relay For Life represents the hope that that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, those who face cancer will be supported and that one day cancer will be overcome.

Relay For Life is a time when community members come together to honour loved ones, to celebrate their fundraising achievements throughout the year, help educate their community about the importance of early detection and prevention of cancer, and have fun!
entry on YouTube:
A Relay For Life Huntly is on the cards for 2010 provided there is support from the communities in and around Huntly. A post-relay evening is planned after the summer holidays where all will be able to share photos, anecdotes, etc.

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