Huge crowds again expected for amazing Relay for Life event

first_imgOne of the biggest Relay for Life events in Europe takes place in Letterkenny this weekend with thirty-six teams and a host of top entertainers preparing to take part.And interest in it continues to spread far beyond these shores with a number of Relay for Life organising committees in the United States requesting video footage of the traditional Luminaria service at the LYIT campus to show at their own events which are being staged in the coming weeks.“It represents a real international dynamic to our own Donegal Relay,” chairperson of the local committee, Robert O’Connor points out. Over 1.2 million euro has been raised to date by the Relay initiative in Donegal which now enters its eighth year and continues to boost funding for the Irish Cancer Society in helping to provide care and emotional support for patients and their families in addition to funding research.“We are grateful to all who are taking part including the survivors, the carers, the teams, and the singers and musicians,” chairperson O’Connor acknowledges.“It’s amazing the people who get involved. We had a husband and wife from Glenties, both of them cancer survivors and aged in their mid to late eighties, who came to Relay last year meaning to stay for an hour or so and instead stayed for the whole twenty-four hours.”Leading the ever popular Survivors Choir, Donal Kavanagh, also referred to the sense of solidarity and support that marks Relay for Life and the community response to it. “Donegal is one of the biggest Relay for Life events taking place in Europe. It’s something the county can be really proud of,” he told a special assembly of team captains.Previewing this weekend’s Relay, which runs from 5.p.m. on Saturday through to Sunday evening at the LYIT campus, chairperson O’Connor stresses it’s still not too late for survivors to register for next weekend’s Relay event. They can turn up on the day or contact Donal Kavanagh at 087-6319699.The survivors undertake the opening lap of the track at the L.Y.I.T. on Saturday evening and then, led by the Cloughaneely band, retire to the main building for the traditional banquet.Following the survivors, the carers embark on their lap – an acknowledgement of the unstinting work they do for those enduring the cancer journey.“They do all the dirty jobs that no-one wants to do. And they do it selflessly and out of love,” insists Donal. While the opening ceremony of this year’s Relay is scheduled to be performed at 4.40.p.m. on Saturday, with Charlie Collins acting as M.C., pre-entertainment will be provided by Callum Keaveney and David Craig from 4.p.m.As committee member Ena Barrett reveals, there’s a hugely impressive line-up of entertainers on the Relay programme with top performers such as Jim Devine, Michael English, Anne Biddy, Gary Gamble, Evelyn Gallagher, Eddie Gallagher, Shaun Cuddy, Seamus McGee, and Hugo Duncan to name but a few set to provide the song and the music and countless opportunities for the dancers among the attendance.“We’re very grateful to Paddy Bradley for helping to line up this fantastic array of performers, each of whom gave their time for free to generate the atmosphere and support the Relay initiative.”One of the most emotional segments of the Relay for Life experience is the Luminaria ceremony scheduled for 10.30.p.m. on Saturday during the fading embers of dusk. And as has been the case every year, Moya Brennan and family will be involved in this particular part of the weekend. “We’re honoured to have someone of her musical stature come here every year to perform,” the Relay chairperson indicates.Meanwhile, mass will be celebrated at 7.a.m. on Sunday by Fr. Ciaran Harkin in the An Danlann building while Highland Radio will broadcast live another richly rewarding aspect of Relay, the Gospel Hour at 9.15.a.m. and the Ecumenical Service at 10.10.a.m., both of them featuring an array of outstanding voices and instrumentalists.Among them will be the Survivors Choir who will perform at various stages over the 24 hours and will feature ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ as part of their repertoire.Global Hero of Hope, Suibhan Gillespie, will be overseeing the ponytail cutting segment on Sunday where the donations of hair are subsequently presented to the Little Princess Trust and go to make wigs for cancer patients.Organisers stress that while awareness and fund-raising play a significantpart in the event, the celebration element is a constant feature of the weekend activities.“We want people to come and dress up or whatever – anything to bring in the fun element. There’s always a great atmosphere at Relay and a lot of laughter over the weekend,” insists committee member, Charlie Quinn.Huge crowds again expected for amazing Relay for Life event was last modified: May 25th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:letterkennyRelay for Lifelast_img