Thousands of people lined out in St Michael’s GAA ground in Toomevara over the weekend for Relay for Life Tipperary, raising funds for the Irish Cancer Society.
The 24-hour fundraiser was opened by former Tipperary manager Len Gaynor before the first lap was walked by cancer survivors, ensuring the event got off to a positive start by proving that there is hope of overcoming the disease.
The second lap was walked by carers with the countless fundraising teams then taking to the specially laid sand track around the pitch.
For many the most moving aspect is when the Candles of Hope are lit and the grounds were plunged into darkness, with the light from the candles guiding people around the track. Each candle represented a person affected by cancer – either celebrating one who had survived, remembering one who did not make it, or wishing well to somebody who is fighting the disease.
It is always an emotive journey around the track to read the names of those who have been affected by cancer.
The essence of Relay for Life is a celebration of life, but it has a fun and cheerful side as well. There was camaraderie on the track, added to by entertainment from the stage, fun laps and activities for families and children. Indeed, one of the features of this year’s event was the number of young people and children who attended, bringing with them great life and energy.
There was plenty of entertainment, including Tailor Made, the Silvermines Folk Choir, Jamie Lee Forde, Flynn O’Kane School of Dance, Danny Holland, Lisa Manning, the Cover Girls, Martin the Freshman Ryan and 1710. The warm-up exercises at the beginning of the event were provided by Orla from Trinity Leisure Club and on Sunday morning by Lisa Hall.
The organising committee thanked all those who supported Relay, and all who helped in so many ways, especially the members of Toomevara GAA Club who gave unstinting and invaluable support throughout the event.
Relay for Life 2015 has increased our awareness of the implications of cancer for our society and raised significant funds for fighting the disease.