The 2019 Relay for Life in Renfrew County will be held on June 21 at the Pembroke Memorial Centre (PMC). To honour this event’s 20 years of fighting cancer, a silver maple was planted at the Pembroke Memorial Centre. At the June 13 tree planting ceremony was, from left, Community Engagement Specialist Lana Gorr, Honourary Survivor Aspyn Carroll, Kerri Carroll, Jessica Fleury, Larry TerMarsch, Community Fundraising Specialist Leigh Costello, Mayor Mike LeMay, Tom Carroll, Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet, Dan Laverdure, and Relay for Life Committee Chair Cindy Giroux. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Tree planted for 20th anniversary of Relay for Life

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A tree was planted in front of the Pembroke Memorial Centre (PMC) in honour of the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life.

When Relay for Life first started in Petawawa 20 years ago, a similar tree was planted. So when the event was moved to Pembroke, organizers thought it would be a good way to honour the event’s history.

“It is great to see that tradition we started 20 years ago is still continuing,” said Honourary Chairperson Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet. “I’m pleased to be part of it again.”

Sweet was the first chairman of the first Relay for Life in all of Canada, which was held in June of 1999 in his town.

Though the Relay for Life has a long history in the area, it is only the second year that it has been held locally at the PMC. It combines both the Petawawa and Whitewater Region Relays into a single location.

“Last year, we had a great turnout and it’s looking like it will be the same this year,” said Cindy Giroux, Chair of the Relay for Life committee.

Their goal was to raise $100,000 for the June 21 event.

“An event like this is so important because we all know somebody who has had cancer,” said Pembroke Mayor Mike LeMay.

As a non-profit organization, the Canadian Cancer Society of Renfrew County is highly dependent on donations through events like Relay for Life. Without them, they would not be able to host so many local programs such as the Free Wig clinic, peer support and Wheels of Hope programs.

“The last thing they want on their mind is to find a way to get to their treatment because of funding issues,” said Sweet. “The thing that got me way back when is... (the money) stays in Renfrew County for services within Renfrew County.”

The silver maple tree was planted on June 13 in front of the PMC. It was donated by Gerber’s Nursery.
“We are very appreciative of them because it is a beautiful tree,” said Giroux.  

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