Target smashed as Derry hosts first ‘Relay for Life’

Cancer survivors and carers kick of the Relay for Life with a lap of honour in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS099
Cancer survivors and carers kick of the Relay for Life with a lap of honour in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS099
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Big-hearted local people have smashed the target set ahead of Derry’s first Relay for Life fundraising drive in aid of Cancer Research.

As of yesterday, more than £112,000 has been raised by teams, businesses and a wide range of organisations and groups across the north west. The amount raised is almost four times the original £30,000 target.

The Dash for Hope team enjoy the entertainment at the Relay for Life Legenderry finale in St Columbs Park on Sunday afternoon last. DER2617GS007

The Dash for Hope team enjoy the entertainment at the Relay for Life Legenderry finale in St Columbs Park on Sunday afternoon last. DER2617GS007

The fundraising drive culminated in the Relay for Life Legenderry Finale at St Columb’s Park at the weekened. Over 800 people in almost 50 teams took part in a 24-hour relay around the running track, with hundreds more cheering them on.

Around 200 cancer survivors were also in attendance as guests of honour, while musicians and entertainers gave up their time for free to keep the crowds entertained.

Gay Durkan, Chair of the Legenderry Cancer Research Committee, said they were over the moon with the response to the fundraising events and weekend Relay for Life. She said: “It was a wonderful 24 hours and it was at times emotional and there was a real sense of community throughout the event.

“The team of survivors opened the event on Saturday afternoon and it was humbling for the spectators and healing for the participants.

Cancer survivors Orla Gallagher, Teresa Moore and Lisa Williamson pictured at the Relay for Life cancer charity event in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS102

Cancer survivors Orla Gallagher, Teresa Moore and Lisa Williamson pictured at the Relay for Life cancer charity event in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS102

“We want to thank all those survivors, carers, teams and members of the public who have all supported this and a special thanks to the entertainers and performers who have their services free of charge and made the atmosphere very special. Not only did we raise all that money but all those taking part have also helped raise awareness about a cause that touches so many families in the city.”

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA and Pink Ladies volunteer Karen Mullan congratulated all those involved in the Cancer Research Relay for Life.

She said: “I would like to congratulate Sharon Arbuckle, the organising committee and everyone who took part in Cancer Research Relay for Life. The massive amount raised by the teams who took part will go towards research into beating cancer.

“As a volunteer with the Pink Ladies I have seen at firsthand how generous and supportive people in this city are, and was overwhelmed by the many people who took part and raised this enormous amount.”

Conor McGinty singing at the Relay for Life Legenderry finale in St Columbs Park on Sunday afternoon last. DER2617GS003

Conor McGinty singing at the Relay for Life Legenderry finale in St Columbs Park on Sunday afternoon last. DER2617GS003

Cancer survivors and carers kick of the Relay for Life with a lap of honour in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS100

Cancer survivors and carers kick of the Relay for Life with a lap of honour in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS100

Cancer survivors Jennifer McSparron, Jackie McBrearty, Louise Ferry, Sharon Gilchrist and Joan Ferry pictured at the Relay for Life cancer charity event in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS103

Cancer survivors Jennifer McSparron, Jackie McBrearty, Louise Ferry, Sharon Gilchrist and Joan Ferry pictured at the Relay for Life cancer charity event in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS103

Pirates of the Cure- a- Being, Independent councillors Paul Gallagher, Warren Robinson and Gary Donnelly, attempt to press gang the Deputy Mayor of Derry and Strabane Councillor John Boyle into their team at the Relay for Life in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS107

Pirates of the Cure- a- Being, Independent councillors Paul Gallagher, Warren Robinson and Gary Donnelly, attempt to press gang the Deputy Mayor of Derry and Strabane Councillor John Boyle into their team at the Relay for Life in St Columbs Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER2517GS107