2017 Orana Relay for Life
Hundreds of people from the Orana region have taken to the track at Barden Park for an event that promotes hope and a future without cancer.
The 2017 Orana Relay for Life began with a survivors and carers lap on Saturday afternoon, before the various teams began racking up the kilometres.
Orana Relay for Life committee chair Jason Dearmer said the relay would last for 18 hours, with some people expected to walk all through the night.
“I think it really gives people hope,” Mr Dearmer said.
“The desire to come together and be part of the community is in everyone, and being able to do that for a common cause … is really important and it shows through this event.
“[It] gives people information, and hope for the future.”
Not too late to donate
More than $37,000 has been raised so far – halfway to the Orana Relay for Life committee’s fundraising goal.
And as hundreds of people spend the night doing laps of the Barden Park athletics track, Jason Dearmer said it’s not too late to donate.
“Donations can be made online still to different teams and quite a few teams are doing fundraising activities at the event today,” Mr Dearmer said.
“[The funds raised] will provide a lot of transport to treatment services for patients that are going to treatment who live in remote areas or who perhaps aren’t able to access transport, as well as our Eat It to Beat It program that’s run in schools and and our SunSmart program, and research done at a state level for prevention and a cure for cancer.”
Doing it for Warwick
Among the walkers on Saturday afternoon were a group of army reservists, who are taking part to show their support for their sergeant Warwick Campbell, who is battling cancer.
“We’re army reservists here in Dubbo and we’ve been doing it in Wagga for a few years now but one of our soldiers is actually quite ill and we’re support him and his family this year,” Jamie Fox said.
“He feels quite buoyed by the support from the people he used to serve with,” Warwick’s cousin Lyndal Mawbey said.
“It’s nice way for people to show their support.”
Back again for a great cause
The Johnson family are regulars at the Orana Relay for Life.
“We’ve been doing it since the beginning here,” Kelly Johnson said.
“We do it to support the community, and for family and friends who have had cancer.”
In a surprise for everyone (except the family members who had been tipped off!) Orana Relay for Life committee chair Jason Dearmer has been honoured with a NSW Parliamentary Award for his contributions to the Dubbo community.
Dubbo MP Troy Grant presented the award on Saturday afternoon during the official opening of the 2017 Orana Relay for Life.
In doing so, he thanked Mr Dearmer for his ongoing commitment to events like the Stars of Dubbo Dance for Cancer and groups like the Dubbo Triathlon Club, parkrun and the Dubbo Kangaroos Rugby Union Club.
Mr Dearmer said the award was “completely unexpected”.
“A very pleasant surprise and absolutely honoured to receive it,” he said.
”I’m extremely honoured that they [the community] are part of the work that I do around the community, because I enjoy everything I’m involved in.
“Everything in the community is lots of fun to do.”