Wollongong Relay for Life raises more than $150,000 for Cancer Council NSW

An estimated 1400 people put their best foot forward for charity at the weekend’s Wollongong Relay for Life. 

Relay for Life is an overnight, community event whereby teams participate in a relay-style walk or run to raise funds for Cancer Council NSW.

Beaton Park was the venue for the 24-hour event on Saturday and Sunday. 

Participants could walk as many laps as they wished and were not obligated to walk for the entire 24 hours. 

The Relay kicked off at 9.15am Saturday with the opening ceremony. 

On Sunday morning, organisers said more than $150,000 worth of funds had already been raised, with plenty more still to be collated from various sources. 

Grant Plecas, community engagement manager for Cancer Council NSW’s Southern Region said this would put them above last year’s figure of $162,000.

He believed they would get “very close” to their goal of $200,000 raised. 

“We’re really excited to push past last year’s figure and to see this event going forward,” he said. 

“For a couple years the event struggled a little bit. Last year we improved, and this year we’ve improved again, even with numbers.”

Mr Plecas said they’d had 1050 participants register prior to the event, and 300-400 registered on Saturday. 

He said participants had to contend with some inclement weather.

“About one or two o’clock on Saturday (the rain arrived).

“The wind gave us a bit of a battering early on. People pushed through that and we still had great numbers on the track. Then the rain came through in the afternoon and that decimated our numbers.

“The wind dropped off, but it got really cold.

“But to everyone’s credit they came back for the Hope Ceremony.”

Mr Plecas thanked the community for their support of the event.

“A lot of the money stays local, so we’re really proud of what the community was able to help us achieve,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to continuing the growth of this Relay.”