The Conquer Fitness team went all out with their magical Alice In Wonderland costumes

October 12, 2023

The theme for the 2023 South Burnett Relay For Life was magical – “The Magic of Relay: Dream It, Hope It, Cure It!” – but the real magic was the efforts of the fundraisers.

On Thursday, South Burnett Relay chair Rowena Dionysius said donations were still coming in but so far it looked like the 2023 event had raised at least $174,000 for Cancer Council Queensland.

This included the Ride 4 Relay ($45,361, including more than $4000 from the Cattle For A Cure auction), the Dinner With The Captains in August and the culmination of months of fundraising by all the other teams.

The top school team was from Saint Mary’s Catholic College which raised more than $2000.

“We have done amazingly well,” Rowena said. “It is really incredible.”

This year’s Relay was the 17th held in the South Burnett but there was a change in venue this year … the 25 teams set up their stalls at T.J. O’Neill Oval in Kingaroy.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chris Cassens, from Cancer Council Queensland, said the amazing efforts of fundraisers such as Relay for Life made a big difference in the lives of Queenslanders navigating cancer. 

He said the money went towards research but also to provide free accommodation for people undergoing cancer treatment, transport to and from treatment, wigs and turbans, counselling services and financial aid.

At dusk, the traditional Candlelight Ceremony was held, led by members of Brooksy’s Team.

Three candles were lit and a minute’s silence held.

A small table was a focal point of the ceremony:

“The table is small, symbolising the frailty of a single patient, sometimes alone in the fight against their disease.

“The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the medical profession. Doctors, nurses, researchers and all who help fight the battle for life.

“The single rose in the vase signifies the enduring love of family and friends and the strength of a patient’s will to fight.

“A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of the bitter battle fought by new patients each year.

“The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless tears of personal anguish shared by the patient and those shared by family and friends who have lost a loved one.

“But the flickering candles represent the light of hope that lives in the hearts if all of us. Hope represented by cancer survivors and the hope for a cure as a result of all the new and continual research funded by events like this.” 

Walkers then completed a slow lap around the oval, remembering those who have died.

South Burnett Relay For Life chair Rowena Dionysius said the fundraising this year had been phenomenal
2023 Face Of Relay, cancer survivor Dennis Cotter, compered the opening ceremony in his wizard top hat and cloak
Acting Mayor Gavin Jones said events like this couldn’t happen without the participation of the wonderful South Burnett community
Chris Cassens, from Cancer Council Queensland, also spoke at the opening
South Burnett Relay For Life Patron Carl Rackemann read the Relay For Life Ode
Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary Paula Greenwood presented a cheque for $1465 to Rowena Dionysius, the proceeds from the launch breakfast in May
Members of the various teams gathered on the lawn in front of the Red Ants’ clubhouse for the opening ceremony
The Birds Of A Feather support group led the Survivors’ and Carers’ Walk at the start of this year’s Relay For Life … this is their 19th year, making them older than Relay itself (17 years)
Not all Relay For Life participants were doing their laps by walking (or running) …
Members of one of the several Kingaroy State High School teams line up to start their Relay laps
Cr Jane Erkens, second from right, with the Worn Out Walkers III, Nanango’s annual team in Relay For Life
Some more magical costumes courtesy of Kingaroy State High School students
Therese Woodward and Bec Offord, from Nanango, with their team’s Relay baton
South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt with the Council team’s “baton”
Wooroolin Lions Club volunteers were working hard in the canteen
“The Bucket Boys”, winners of the 2023 Pig Jam music competition, provided live music to help keep the walkers on track
Margie Hams, from the new Head To Health service which will open soon in Kingaroy, with Cr Danita Potter
Brooksy’s Team led the Candlelight Ceremony … three candles were lit, in honour of cancer survivors, those fighting cancer and those we have lost
The Candlelight Ceremony held at dusk is always a moving part of Relay For Life … a time of remembrance but also with a focus on hope



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.