The weather was certainly not the best it could have been, but the rain didn't dampen spirits at the Taranaki Relay for Life on Saturday.

Raewyn Rooney, chairperson of the Taranaki relay for Life committee, says a total of 59 teams entered the event, raising a total of over $100,000 for the Taranaki Cancer Society.

"It was an emotional event from start to finish. The opening ceremony certainly brought tears to people's eyes as we acknowledged the survivors and caregivers present."

Raewyn says it was the first time caregivers were acknowledged separately.


"While we have always had a survivors flag, with handprints representing them, this year we introduced a banner for the caregivers. Caregivers put their footprints on this, representing the fact the caregivers walk the journey alongside their loved ones during their cancer journey."

Raewyn says at that point of the day the weather was still fine.

"Although the weather did pack in later in the day for a few hours, it was so inspiring to see people stay and keep on going regardless."

The candlelight ceremony was also an emotional high point of the day, says Raewyn. Everyone was given a candle to hold.

"Looking out to the crowd from the stage, you just saw all these lights twinkling. They then walked through the garden of remembrance with them and along the relay track."
The event couldn't be successful without the support of many people, says Raewyn.

"As well as all the volunteers and participants, special thanks are due to the many entertainers who gave of their time freely to make the whole event enjoyable and to keep people entertained throughout."