The 2017 Relay for Life campaign kicked off on March 8 with the sponsors receiving credit for their part in bringing the upcoming event to life. In the front, from left, are Tracy Gutzeit from Skyza Ottawa Valley, Honourary Surivor Lorraine Mackenzie and Brigitte Filion. In the back, from left, are Kyle Robinson from MyFM, Orin Wattley from Skyza Ottawa Valley, Amanda Gunter from Petawawa Toyota, Lana Gorr, Amanda Zappa from Rexall, Community Fundraising Specialist Jessica Khouri, Jodi Croucher and Brenda Blakney from Rexall, Robin Sjaarda from SunSign Graphics, Stacey Kelly from Scotiabank, Deputy Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Manager Judy Goetz, and Tammy Hen from Access Health Care. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

2017 Relay for Life officially launched

Community News

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday March 16, 2017

Despite some changes to the 2017 Relay for Life, its mission to raise awareness and money to combat cancer remains the same.

The traditional 12-hour walk will be moved forward, however, starting at noon on June 9 and running until midnight. Opening ceremonies will still take place at 7 p.m. with the Survivor’s Victory Lap following immediately afterwards. The hope is that turning the overnight event into a daytime one will attract more walkers.

“There will be a lot of activities, lots more opportunities to get involved and make a difference here in Renfrew County in the fight against cancer,” said Jessica Khouri, Community Fundraising Specialist.

She launched the Relay for Life fundraising campaign on March 8. The kickoff was held at Scotiabank in Pembroke as they are this year’s event sponsor.

Garrison Petawawa will once again host the event.

“We obviously believe in the cause,” said Deputy Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Manager Judy Goetz, representing Site Sponsor Garrison Petawawa. “For the past 18 years, the base has always been involved in providing that behind-the-scenes support. Before the event, during the event and after.”

Khouri thanked all the sponsors in attendance for their support in making the event possible.

Some of the additional activities will include a Skyza Zone with inflatable equipment and activities, a lip-sync battle, and a catered Survivor’s meal for those who beat cancer and their caregivers.

Organizers chose a Back to the 80s theme, and participants are encouraged to put on their leg warmers, get out the hairspray and break out some Duran Duran. “We are asking for all the teams to get dressed up,” said Khouri.

Though some of the funds from Relay for Life in Petawawa go to lifesaving cancer research, funds also stay in the local community to help pay for programs. Some these services include peer support, the free wig clinic, information on cancer and the Wheels of Hope Transportation service.

The Relay is incredibly important for people like 2017 Honorary Survivor Lorraine Mackenzie. “It helps cancer survivors and people going through the process,” said Mackenzie.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer and spent all of 2013 fighting the disease. She is cancer-free now, but there is always the nagging thought that it could return. She felt honoured and privileged to be able to stand up for all those who have gone through this before. “It’s everybody coming together and fighting for the same thing,” she said.

To register for the Relay for Life in Petawawa, visit or contact Renfrew County Canadian Cancer Society Manager Roger Martin at