It’s official the 2016 Whitsunday Relay for Life has raised $46, 760.65.
Twenty eight teams made up of more than 300 people have spent 18 hours walking a circuit at the Proserpine Showground to beat a disease that touches the lives of so many people in the Queensland community.
One person is diagnosed with cancer every 20 minutes in Queensland.
Co-event coordinator Leonie Arthur said after the event was nearly cancelled last year due to lack of support, this year’s interest had gone beyond the committee’s expectations.
“This year everyone has been more engaged. The committee has been more focused and more grounded and has worked together as a unit,” she said.
Though the event strives to deal a knock-out blow to a disease that can strike anyone at any time Ms Arthur said it also bought the community together.
“It’s breaking down the barrier between Prossie and the beach. You look at the teams here, 50% of them are from Cannonvale and Airlie Beach and a lot of the donations have come from businesses run from the beach. And Prossie has been very well represented here.”
“I think that is brilliant and one thing we need to look at a region. Breaking down that wall and coming together as the Whitsundays and the wonderful community we do have.”
At 2pm on Saturday the relay got underway and was opened by cancer survivors and their carers doing a solo lap of the arena before the teams begun their marathon all night effort.
At 7pm as night fell, a candle-light tribute was held for those who lost their battle with the disease and participants wrote messages to loved-ones on paper bags and placed a candle inside.
The little lanterns of hope were placed around the perimeter of the walking track and the lights were dimmed in tribute.
It was a weary but a good spirited bunch of wakers after going all night that attended the closing ceremony of the 2016 Relay for Life.
Prizes were bestowed on teams for the best-dressed walker, best camp and the team who raised the most money for the cause.
This year the Caped Crusaders won that title after they managed to pocket $13, 062 for the Queensland Cancer Council.
Co-event coordinator Wendy Barker said it was a “wonderful event” this year.
“There have been more teams, an extreme amount of money has been raised and more to come in. I am extremely proud of the committee, they have done a wonderful job,” she said.
“And without the teams and the kids it would not have been possible. We had so many kids’ teams from most of the schools. St Cath’s had for teams take part.”
Ms Barker said plans for next year were already underway.