Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said the event will look different this year. Pictured: Gladstone's Relay for Life paused for a moving candlelight vigil.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said the event will look different this year. Pictured: Gladstone's Relay for Life paused for a moving candlelight vigil.

How beloved Gladstone event will be held like never before

FOR the first time in its history, one of Gladstone's favourite events which unites the community and delivers hope for the future is going virtual.

Registrations are open and free for the Gladstone Relay For Life with the community fundraising event being streamed on Facebook on July 25, 2020.

In its physical form the event involved inspirational ceremonies, sharing stories of hope, and walking for 18 hours in support of Queenslanders impacted by cancer.

The choice to transform the iconic event was made by the local Relay For Life committee to ensure that the spirit of Relay was kept alive among physical event cancellations due to COVID-19.

The virtual event will run from 3pm to 7pm and will include the same beloved Relay For Life activities including the opening ceremony, survivors and carers, and candlelight ceremony.

The online relay will be streamed onto the Gladstone Relay For Life Facebook event listing, where all relayers are invited to watch, interact, and fundraise to support those impacted by cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said while the event might look very different this year, it would still be an unforgettable experience.

"Relay For Life brings communities together to celebrate cancer survivorship, remember loved ones lost and empower teams of families, friends and colleagues to raise funds and fight back against cancer," Ms McMillan said.

"The virtual event will still include many Relay traditions, from opening and closing ceremonies to the beloved candlelight ceremony.

"Around 1300 people are diagnosed with cancer each year in Central Queensland and Relay For Life enables us to support those people.

"Every dollar raised through Relay For Life funds our work, and in turn, provides vital support and care for all Queenslanders every minute, every hour, every day

"This virtual event will make it even easier for families, businesses, colleagues, and friends to participate in Relay For Life and make a difference."

Two-time cancer survivor Collin Burke has been named the Gladstone 'Face of Relay', and he is keen to share his message of hope and awareness online for the first time.

Sharing the title with local Kelly Boase, Mr Burke said he was honoured to be named the Face of the Gladstone Relay For Life 2020.

"I've been a proud participant of Relay For Life for as long as I can remember," Mr Burke said.

"Experiencing Relay as a virtual event is something I never expected to happen, but with the current pandemic, it's great that we can still come together in one form or another.

"I hope to connect with the Gladstone community and continue sharing my story and spreading awareness and raise vital funds for those impacted by cancer.

"The more people that sign up and get involved in the virtual event, the better it will be and the more special it will make the online version of our Relay this year."

To find out more about this year's virtual Relay For Life, visit www.relayforlife.org.au or call 1300 65 65 85.