Kemptville, ON (Monday, June 12, 2023) – St. John Catholic High School in Perth held their annual Relay for Life event on Friday, June 9, raising $108,000 collectively, and far surpassing the previous school record of $73,000 raised in 2022. Donations continue to be received and the fundraising total since 2001 is now nearly $1 million. This year, 391 students participated in the fundraiser.
Relay for Life is an initiative which raises money to support the Canadian Cancer Society. Participants gather at a community space and take turns walking around a track or path to symbolize the perseverance and action needed to change the future of cancer.
At St. John CHS, the annual Relay for Life has helped to develop a strong school community, and each year the event is organized by a student committee who begin their work in December. In May, the school held a kick-off assembly to honour a grade 9 student who has been battling leukemia since last year.
The 12-hour rally began at 9:30 am with the opening lap, and continued throughout the day with opening ceremonies, a survivor victory lap, and reception. A 2023 survivor stone was placed in the school’s survivor garden. Each stone placed in the garden symbolizes a tribute to all who are affected by cancer in some way.
“As you walk around the track, illuminated by candles of hope, remember that every lap you complete symbolizes a tribute to those who have fought, those who are still fighting, and those we have lost,” noted Principal Pascale Michaud in her address.
“Thank you for being part of this incredible movement. Your presence here signifies your commitment to the cause, and we are honoured to have you here. May this Relay for Life be a beacon of hope for all those affected by cancer.”
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario operates 39 elementary and 10 secondary schools across 8 counties. The CDSBEO offers excellence in Catholic education through provincial-leading programs to approximately 13,300 students.