Gibraltar’s Relay for Life has seen a record breaking year as the Gibraltar branch of Cancer Research UK celebrates its fiftieth year on the Rock. This weekend saw 79 teams, 95 survivors in the first lap of honour and more than £43,700 raised as money continues to pour in.
The relay was a huge success with hundreds participating and many more visiting the stadium and supporting their family and friends over the 24 hour event.
This year’s mascot was named by the Nursing Students, one of the many teams at the event, who gave him the name of Dr Beat-It.
Heading the organising team were Giovi and Nicky Vinales who described the support as “overwhelming”.
“The support we get from the community is always fantastic. This is a cause very close to everybody’s heart and again they all turned out in a big way.”
“It is overwhelming to see the stadium so packed and everyone so happy and joining in.”
As money continues to pour in both are still confident they will reach their target of £50,000 in this special year.
“Cancer affects so many people locally but we want to reinforce the message to everyone who has taken part that their contribution and the challenges faced do make a different. The number in this year’s survivors’ lap of honour is proof that it does make a difference.”
UK Regional Manager Joanne Evans and Senior Fundraising Manager Steph Maddox from Cancer Research UK were in Gibraltar to support the event.
“It is just amazing to see all the community come together for this,” said Ms Maddox who was in Gibraltar for the first time.
Mrs Evans paid tribute to the organisers for such a well organised event and to the people across the community who had contributed towards the event.
“The generosity of the community never ceases to amaze me. I know this is their 50th year, but there is never any doubt in the UK that the Gibraltar branch will deliver and will continue to break their own records and they will always get our support. They are an amazing committee and they raise a phenomenal amount of money,” said Mrs Evans who has already been in Gibraltar several times.
“We need everybody in Gibraltar to know that they money they give is really important because it goes towards world-wide research helping people in Gibraltar as well,” she added.
The number of teams entered locally is probably a record for Cancer Research UK as a whole as the largest number of teams in UK relay events reaches 26 with some 70 survivors – both numbers held by the relay in Peterhead. Twined with Gibraltar’s own relay they were also on the Rock this weekend showing their support with a nine-strong team who joined in.
“We have loved the atmosphere and the friendliness and the people. It is different to ours but we have learnt a lot here in Gibraltar and we will take some ideas back to our relay.”
Chairperson of the Gibraltar branch of Cancer Research UK, Myra Zayas, was thrilled at the turn-out with the branch locally celebrating such a special birthday.
“The numbers are unbelievable and again people have gone out of their way to give us the support that Gibraltar is so famous for,” she said.