Walking for a cause . . . Members of the Rainbow Confectionery team (from left) Karen Greaney, Jacinta Kennedy, Catherine Keep and Laine Lipine prepare for their first outing at Relay For Life tomorrow. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

A sweet team is tipping the fundraising scales ahead of its first appearance at the Relay For Life tomorrow.

Having raised more than $4230 for the Cancer Society, Rainbow Confectionery is the top fundraising team for the event so far.

And the 17-person team is aiming even higher by the time the event comes around tomorrow.

North Otago’s Relay for Life had been reduced from 24 hours to six this year, and had moved locations and dates, as Covid-19 alert level changes made it difficult to organise the full event, Relay For Life co-ordinator Michelle Carson said.

It had not affected numbers though, as 152 participants had signed up to walk from 1pm to 7pm at Takaro Park tomorrow.

There were 17 teams joining Rainbow Confectionery – including those from Trustpower, Waitaki District Council and Oamaru Hospital, as well as various schools and groups.

About $17,000 had already been raised, and all the money would stay in the North Otago region.

“That’s the really special thing about Relay For Life,” Ms Carson said.

“It’s a community event raising money for our community to help those impacted by cancer. The more that we can raise, the more facilities, support and services that we can offer people during that difficult stage in their life.”

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean would be at the opening ceremony, and the day would finish with the traditional candle light ceremony where remembrance badges were lit to remember lives that had been lost to cancer.

It was an opportunity for the community to come together to discuss the feelings cancer could bring up, she said.

“It’s good for people who have been impacted by cancer to have that chance to talk to other people, share their experiences, and for people going through it at the moment to learn what’s out there to support them.

“They are not alone. There are people to support them, and we’re able to offer them that support that they need.”

There would also be entertainment, bouncy castles, face painting and food stalls, and the community was encouraged to “come have a look”, and support the event.

“We’re really hoping that people will just rock up on the day. They can just make a donation on the day without actually having to participate in the relay itself.

“It should be a great event. We’ve been really lucky that the companies that are going to be there on the day have really shown great support.”