Korah moves Relay for Life indoors

Mara Lehtinen at Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life at Korah Collegiate last Friday. Mother Nature supplied hot sunny weather for that event. Rain is forcing Korah's Relay for Life fundraiser to be held indoors on Thursday.

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Moving Relay for Life indoors is a big deal at Korah Collegiate and Vocational School.

The last time the Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser wasn’t held on the grounds of the Goulais Avenue school was seven years ago. Student turnout then wasn’t near the more than 210 who’ve registered for the eighth annual event that starts Thursday at 7 p.m. Another 30 to 50 students and staff are volunteering to run the fundraiser that’s raised $120,000 heading into 2019. With enrolment of slightly less than 900, about 25 per cent of Korah students are participating.

But with frequent rain since Sunday, and The Weather Network forecasting a 70 per cent chance of showers on Thursday, organizers made the decision late Wednesday morning to move Relay for Life from the school track to inside.

This is going to be a bit of a challenge for us,” teacher and event co-chair Cosimo Martella told The Sault Star on Wednesday. “We’re excited.”

He’s hopeful a lap for cancer survivors, usually featuring parents, grandparents and other relatives of students, and school staff, can be done outside. Five to 15 survivors usually attend.

Various parts of Korah will be used for the 12-hour fundraiser. The opening ceremony will be held in the auditorium at 7 p.m. Team tents will be raised in the cafeteria. Students from Grades 7 to 12 will do laps on the school’s second floor. Activities are planned for the gymnasium.

Martella wants to match the $30,000 collected in 2018, the best year yet for Korah’s Relay for Life. With about $15,000 in “very preliminary” pledges and fundraising, Martella is “feeling confident” the five-finger tally will be reached.

A vote was done this spring to determine if students wanted to move Relay for Life to mostly daytime hours. They “overwhelmingly” said no, with 90 per cent nixing the idea, said Martella.

While Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life ran for just four hours last Friday, Korah continues to go 12 hours.

It’s a cultural thing at our school,” said Martella, who teaches business, computers and is a student services counsellor. “The kids look forward to this. (It’s) probably the biggest event of their school career.”

Relay for Life is also the last large school activity before exams start to end the academic year.

The Korah event starts with a pasta dinner in the main cafeteria from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15.


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