The Hills Shire District raised $345,883 for the Hills Relay for Life fundraiser on 8 July 2023, surpassing the $250,000 goal for the 22nd Relay in the district.
The event reached the target goal on the 1st day before 6:00 PM. Sutherland Shire 2023 took the second spot, collectively raising $332,858, followed by the West Coast 2023 at $292,803. The Canberra (ACT) 2023 and Hobart 2023 events garnered $288,913 and $225,609 respectively.
Castle Towers topped the local leaderboard by raising $38,416, second in the general leaderboard. The top individual for the Hills Shire is Joel Bowmer at $8,664.
The accumulated funds will go to The Cancer Council and its cancer research and services.
Nine hundred forty-nine relayers (949) and 97 teams participated in the two-day run. The event day at the Castle Hill Showground happened on 20 May and ended on 21 May, providing hundreds of people with various activities, games, and programs. Ceremonies such as the Ceremony of Hope and the Ceremony of Remembrance give meaning to the occasion.
Cancer survivors such as Joel Sedger have attended many Relay for Life events. Sedger partook in a head shave, along with Hills Relay for Life Committee Member Jaime Berglin and BNI Prime Team Captain Sharon Capizzi.
Relay for Life started in 1985 with an American colorectal surgeon called Dr Gordy Klatt and his dedication to informing people about cancer and its detrimental effects. It reached Australia in 1999 and has thrived in many communities, raising cancer awareness and consistently raising funds.
Dr Klatt is said to have “spent a gruelling twenty-four hours circulating a track in Tacoma, Washington, and raised over US$27,000, showing that one person really can make a difference.”
Image credit to Hills Relay for Life.