Hills District Independent JUNE 2017 #24 - Page 4

local life Hills Relay for Life brings community together for good The annual Hills Relay for Life is becoming bigger and better each year. It caps off an incredible period of fundraising that includes the Hills Relay for Life 24-hour event and the Hills Relay for Life Ball. We received a wonderful letter from Lynne Pike, Hills Relay for Life Chairperson. On behalf of Hills Relay For Life committee, and Cancer Council NSW, we would like to thank the Hills community for supporting the 16th annual Hills Relay For Life on May 20 and 21. More than 1200 registered participants joined our dedicated committee and volunteers at Castle Hill Showground for 24 hours, to celebrate life, remember loved ones and help beat cancer. We could not be happier with the result.  In the Western Sydney Local Health District, it is predicted that an estimated 4312 people will be diagnosed with cancer in a single year, with about 1381 deaths expected. Hills Relay For Life saw our tight- knit community come together, have fun and give back to support all whose lives are affected by cancer.  We began the relay with a lap of the survivors and carers who are recognised as beacons of hope within our community. A full day of entertainment and activities followed, culminating in a heart-warming Candlelight Ceremony of Hope.  More than 1000 people gathered at our candlelight ceremony where some of our relayers shared their stories of inspiration and hope with others, before dedicated participants continued their relay long into the night.  Forty volunteers donated 4 ISSUE 24 // JUNE 2017 their time to make the event a success by supporting the committee in managing proceedings.  Thanks to the incredible support from the Hills community, this year’s Hills Relay For Life has already raised more than $260,000. The target of $330, 000 is expected to be reached in the coming days. This money will aid Cancer Council NSW initiatives, including funding world-class cancer research, providing practical and emotional support services for patients, carers, and families in the Hills and important education programs on cancer prevention.  Thank you to the Hills region for walking in hope for all those affected by cancer and supporting us in our fight against cancer. Yours sincerely, Lynne Pike Relay For Life Committee Chairperson THE HILLS Impromptu art show at Hills Relay For Life Gala Ball An impromptu artwork by Archibald Packing Prize winner Nafisa Naomi was among the highlights of the 11 th Hills Relay For Life gala ball. The artwork, drawn by Ms Naomi on a table cloth at the ball, featured images of African wildlife and guests could see the work come to life throughout the course of the evening. The artwork was auctioned online to raise money for Hills Relay For Life. Among items auctioned at the ball was a surfboard featuring the signatures of past and present Home and Away stars. Actor Lynne McGranger was also on hand to auction an exclusive tour of the Home and Away set. Cancer Council NSW Community Engagement Manager Aruni Ratnayake was among the 300 guests who attended the ball. “The theme of the night was Hollywood, and compere Michael Graham and singer Katrina Shaw opened with a fabulous tribute to Judy Garland. Entertainer Keith Scott, the voice of Bullwinkle J. Moose, had the audience in stitches with his impressions of politicians and other celebrities,” Mrs Ratnayake said. “The most moving part of the evening featured singer David Sanders, who brought audience members to tears with his rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, while images of the 2016 Hope ceremony at Hills Relay For Life played in the background.” Mrs Ratnayake said the Hills Relay For Life gala ball had raised close to $400,000 for Relay For Life. She said money raised for Relay For Life helped Cancer Council NSW fund more than $15 million in research grants across a range of cancers in 2016. Mrs Ratnayake also thanked the event’s corporate sponsors Bayer, Allan Drew Funerals and Taylor Nicholas for their support. www.hdinews.com.au THE hills INDEPENDENT