It was 2007 when Anne first made her way to the Relay For Life track.
“One of my workmates told me about it. She said ‘we’ve got a team and we’re going to walk around a track for 24 hours to raise money to help people with cancer’. I knew nothing about Relay at that point, but I said yes, I can do that!”
It turned out to be such a memorable experience that Anne decided to come back the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.
Fast forward twelve years and Anne now heads up the Relay For Life Event Planning Team in Geelong. Each week she gathers a group of friendly volunteers and they help bring the Geelong event to life. “It’s great,” she shares. “You’re working with lots of great people with really interesting ideas. We get to work with different members of the community, and lots of local businesses. When I first started, I walked out of a committee meeting as the ‘activities coordinator’. I wasn’t very good at it… but I had a fabulous time!
“Relay gives you the scope to use your current skills, and also develop and learn others. I love to give people the opportunity and the support to do what they want to do. It doesn’t have to be a big 12-month commitment. People have families, jobs, so they may not have time to commit to something too daunting.”
That’s why Anne’s team does everything they can to make volunteering easy and fun. “We try and break it down into tasks. It may be as simple as asking someone to drop posters out to a strip of shops, or to ask a volunteer if they can give someone a ring.”
When asked why she loves Relay, Anne says that she not only enjoys it, but she finds it hugely rewarding.
“My mother passed away from throat cancer in 2006, and I have had friends, acquaintances and workmates who have also been impacted by cancer. I truly believe we are making a difference. The money we raise ensures Cancer Council can continue its work. We fund research, which is very important. Twenty years ago, the survival rate for cancer was about 47%, now it’s at 68%. “It’s also the support that Cancer Council provides we fund that too. The legal and financial assistance, the holiday breaks, the nurses over the phone. All those services happen behind the scenes and need more money.”
That’s why Anne encourages everyone who reads this to volunteer for their local Relay For Life. “You can volunteer for as much or as little as you like it all helps! Plus the event is sensational, everyone loves the event.”
You can be like Anne and volunteer to help plan your local Relay For Life. Simply fill out this form, and we’ll help you find a role that suits you.