Relay for Life: Shirley returning without Wonka


KnACCkered was on to a winner with its Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas costumes at the 2012 Relay For Life, which won them the best dressed team award.

With the 2013 Relay For Life open for registrations and team planning underway, organisers are expecting something just as spectacular from KnACCkerd this year.

Team captain Shirley Simpson is staying quiet on the team's theme. She says it's different to the Oompa Loompas but just as good.

Relay For Life is a fun, overnight event which involves teams of 10 or more walking or running around a track for 22 hours - though only one member needs to be on the track at any one time. It's not a race, the relay is about celebrating with those who have overcome cancer, remembering loved ones lost to cancer and fighting back against cancer by raising funds and awareness for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society.

The relay runs from 2pm on March 9 to noon on March 10 at AgResearch, Ruakura in Hamilton.

Shirley and her KnACCkered teammates are determined to win the award for best dressed team and most fundraising, and have challenged all the Hamilton teams to try to beat them. "After winning the best dressed award we figured why not try for both this year," Shirley says. "I definitely think we can do it."

The team is well on their way to being a strong contender for the most fundraising award after holding a charity auction in September and raising nearly $8000. Shirley says the team does a lot of little fundraisers throughout the year so this was the biggest fundraiser they had done.

"We work together, it's all about team work but the auction was driven by one of our team members, Christina Dalgety. She did an amazing job."

The workplace team was inspired to enter a team in the relay in 2008 when a workmate was diagnosed with cancer. The core team is still going strong, with new members coming and going annually.

The team includes several cancer survivors who all participate in the survivors' lap.

Shirley says the support their workplace gives them is fantastic. Not only are all the team members also colleagues, but a lot of their fundraising is done through work.

All funds raised through relay stay in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region and assist the society to provide supportive care for cancer patients, their carers, whanau and friends, fund cancer research and provide the public with information on the ways to reduce the risk of cancer through a smoke free, sun smart, healthy lifestyle.

For more information about Relay For Life, or to register a team visit www.relayforlife.org.nz, email events@cancersociety.org.nz, or phone (07) 838-2027.

- Hamilton News

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