Sleepless in Seymour is not a sequel about Seattle; it’s a commitment to help raise urgent funds for cancer research by joining Relay for Life this weekend.
The Relay, being held this year at Avenel Recreation Reserve, involves relay teams clocking up the kilometres walking around the reserve all night.
These funds go to support the 302 people in the Mitchell and Strathbogie Shires diagnosed with cancer each year, and their loved ones.
There will be fun for the whole family throughout the event, with a range of local entertainment, food, activities and special ceremonies for participants to enjoy.
This year marks an important milestone as the Seymour Relay for Life’s 10th birthday, with event organisers aiming to raise more than $50000.
Relay for Life community engagement co-ordinator Kitty Howard said despite the fact the event runs for 19 hours, a Commonwealth Games level of fitness is not required.
‘‘There’s no training needed at all,’’ she said.
‘‘Some people do like to challenge themselves and try to complete a marathon ... but the teams just create a roster, so there’s always one person on the track from each team at one time.’’
With a new planning committee on board this year, Ms Howard said the 2018 Seymour Relay for Life will look slightly different, with jumping castles, water balloon challenges, table tennis and a head shave all part of the fun.
‘‘We’re going to organise a colour run on the countdown of our closing ceremony,’’ she said.
‘‘Also it’s a bit of a tradition at the end of the Seymour Relay for Life to jump on to the oval together and hold hands in a circle at the closing ceremony and take a photo of everyone involved in the relay.’’
The Relay features 14 teams including the Avenel Amblers, the 1st Seymour Scout Group, Nexus Primary Health and a variety of new teams from Wallan, Broadford, Kilmore and Nagambie.
Avenel Amblers captain Anne Douglas said her team, originally launched by John Thompson seven years ago, is aiming to raise $1500.
‘‘We’re a group of people from the Avenel community and surrounding areas ... and the group has changed a little bit over time, but it’s a great community event,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a way of remembering the people who have passed away to cancer, because everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. So it’s celebrating life for those survivors, while also celebrating the lives of those people who passed away.
‘‘People have either donated money, or they’ve offered to chop wood, provide accommodation, wine, others are donating time to run the barbecue to raise funds. It’s such a fantastic fund-raising event — so many people come together.’’
One of the new teams, Nagambie-based TBA Law, has set itself the mammoth task of completing 100km in the 19 hours, with the aim of encouraging people to pledge money per kilometre completed.
Team captain Jacqueline Brauman, an experienced long distance runner, has put her hand up to contribute 40km in four hours.
‘‘I generally do half-marathons so this will be good physical challenge for me,’’ she said.
‘‘Some of my staff do other fun runs ... and we’re all young and fit so even if we’re just walking briskly you can do six kilometres quite easily in an hour — we’ll get there.
‘‘We want to fund raise $2000 as a minimum, but obviously the whole thing is trying to raise $50000 overall ... so that would be great if we could contribute more.’’
The Seymour Relay for Life will take place at the Avenel Recreation Reserve from 3pm on Saturday until 10am on Sunday.