Preparations in hand for relay

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Hundreds of people will be showing support for friends, family and community at Awamoa Park this weekend for the North Otago Relay for Life.

Nearly 800 people, in about 46 teams, who have so far raised more than $35,000 for the Cancer Society, will participate.

Event co-ordinator Laura Heselwood said she was staggered the number of people who have signed up.

“I genuinely have been taken aback by how supportive the community is.

“Having this support shows how willing to help people in Oamaru are and this weekend will be a fun way to do this,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity to show solidarity in the community for people who are having a hard time.

“By taking part it’s showing that you’re thinking and caring about people.

“Those little acts of kindness go a long way.”

Mrs Heselwood said she was looking forward to seeing hundreds of young people there.

“They really seem to embrace it and seem to get what it’s all about.”

She is also looking forward to having a good dance on Saturday night and celebrating the weekend with everyone.

The relay will start with the opening ceremony which will include a karakia and a speech by Waitaki deputy mayor Hugh Perkins.

Activities planned for the weekend include a mini relay, a recycled fashion contest, a survivors’ afternoon tea – with more than 70 attendees – a candlelight ceremony, music by local bands and a big breakfast.

The Candlelight Ceremony will include a song by St Joseph’s School and a reading by St Kevin’s College students, she said.

This will be the third time the event has been held in Oamaru. In 2013 about 45 teams walked around the clock for 24 hours raising more than $80,000.

By Ruby Harfield