A Central Hawke's Bay-based team participating for the first time in the Hawke's Bay Cancer Society Relay 4 Life in Hastings this Saturday is sitting near the top of the fundraising pack.

The 18-strong Cervus Equipment "All Stars" team is comprised of 15 staff from CHB, two from Hastings and one from Manawatu.

Team spokeswomen Rachel Williams and Sarah Bird, from Cervus Equipment in Waipukurau, said the team set an initial goal of fundraising $5000.

By Monday this week, the team had easily eclipsed that goal and had raised $6688 – sitting in second place on the fundraising leaderboard behind Team Pan Pac Pine Nuts on $7444.


Along with a donation from Cervus Equipment, Sarah Bird said the CHB team members had been street collecting, running raffles and held a barbecue outside New World in Waipukurau.

"The Waipukurau community and local businesses have been extremely supportive, we are overwhelmed by everyone's contributions and support," she said.

Newcomers to the event, Rachel Williams said the team did not quite know what to expect, apart from a "fun day full of laughs, celebration and remembrance".

Sarah revealed the team had been more focused on fundraising than preparing for Saturday's relay, where teams will complete laps around the Hastings track for 12 hours from 11am to 11pm this Saturday.

"We haven't done any training as a team, nor have we sorted out a roster. We have a few 'mainstays' for the day, so everybody else is free to come and go as they please."

Hawke's Bay Cancer Society centre manager Trudy Kirk said 74 teams had entered this year's relay.

"So we've probably got a total of 1100 participants which is a good number," she said.

She reserved special praise for the CHB team for the amount they had raised at their first attempt.

"They are doing so well, it's brilliant. They have got onboard and just gone for it. It's wonderful."

The other CHB team entered is the CHB District Libraries, who Kirk thanked for entering "every year".