South Canterbury’s Relay for Life is passing the baton to Geraldine.
Holding the relay in Geraldine marks the start of a new concept allowing various towns to share hosting rights, South Canterbury Cancer Society manager Leola Smith said.
“This is the first year we’ve done that, so we are heading to Geraldine. That’s simply because we’ve listened to the community.”
The relay, which is a fundraising initiative, aims to benefit people throughout South Canterbury who have cancer, including 24 known patients in Geraldine.
Ms Smith said a survey conducted throughout the relay community and Cancer Society volunteers helped organisers understand what they wanted from the event.
She said seven teams had already signed up for the Geraldine relay and she hoped many more would follow.
“We are hoping for 20 to 25, but more would be great,” she said.
“We know there are people in the community that are putting teams in but they just haven’t signed up yet. I think that’s because of the holidays and schools aren’t back yet.”
Ms Smith said anyone could take part.
“It’s not just for Geraldine people. Half an hour is not very far for people to travel,” she said.
The relay, which will take place on March 10 at the Geraldine Rugby Football Club in George St, will this year be run at different hours.
The relay will start at 10am and finish at 10pm, instead of the usual overnight concept.
“The reason for that is the fact it’s basically in town,” Ms Smith said.
South Canterbury Cancer Society supportive care member Michelle Robertson said with so many houses in the vicinity of the ground, there was a need to respect nearby residents.
Ms Smith said the location and time-frame were the only aspects being altered this year – everything else would remain the same.
The opening ceremony would take place at 10am, followed by the survivors’ lap.
The evening’s highlights will include the candle-lighting ceremony at 8.30pm and, the closing ceremony at 10pm.