Stacey Cassidy

Stacey Cassidy

Nautical theme hopes to drown out cancer

Annual Relay for Life sails into Trail’s Gyro Park on Saturday

When Greater Trail’s Relay for Life sets sail on Saturday at Gyro Park, Angelica de Groot is hoping for rays of sunshine instead of a shiver-me-timbers kind of day.

Along with the event’s first ever nautical and pirate-based theme, the Fruitvale bookkeeper created a new two-member team called “Alliance for Angie’s Alopecia” that in just two short weeks has raised over $1,000 for the cause.

However, the donations come with a condition that she shaves her locks at noon that day.

This week, de Groot is ready to bare her crown, although she admits to feeling a little trepidation.

“I thought I would try to motivate people a little bit so I put it out there that I would form a team and if we could raise one thousand dollars, I would shave my head,” said de Groot. “I stood up in front of my church and told them what was going on,” she explained. “I also emailed family, friends and clients to tell them what was happening.

“And to warn them there will be a drastic change in my look,” she chuckled.

For the past year de Groot has been serving as treasurer at the Trail chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society and is now looking forward to collecting her pledges to add to this year’s revenue goal of $81,630.

“I’m prepared but will probably have to wear a hat because I burn easily,” she said. “But I think when people have something tangible to look at, it’s easier to make a donation.”

The relay’s “Nautical: Drowning Out Cancer One Wave At A Time” message encourages participants to embrace “fisherman, pirates and all things in-between” with event-day décor and costumes.

After moving the locale from Haley Park to Gyro Park last May, the theme plays into the Columbia River backdrop and organizers are hoping for the same success during this year’s 14 th annual relay.

“We received great reviews from many of our participants and saw more foot traffic as well,” said Stacey Cassidy, Trail’s coordinator of community giving. “The park creates a beautiful green and more cozy atmosphere without shortening the distance of our walking route.

“We are pleased to be at Gyro again for our 2014 event.”

The 12-hour non-competitive relay kicks off at 10 a.m. with a survivor’s victory lap, and ends with a touching luminary ceremony in honour of those battling cancer or in memory of those who have lost their fight.

Live entertainment from local talent including the Foggy Goggle Boys, Mystic Dream Dancers, Tim and the Golden City Fiddlers is scheduled for the full day.

So far 143 people have registered on 18 teams and have already raised money through bake sales and car washes, but can continue to fundraise at the event and through the day’s activities.

There is still time to sign up as a participant or volunteer for Saturday’s event by dropping into the Trail office on Rossland Avenue or by registering online at

Donations to Relay for Life make it possible for the Canadian Cancer Society to invest in cancer research, lead crucial cancer prevention initiatives and deliver caring practical and personal support to people living with cancer.

With the help of fundraising initiatives like Greater Trail’s Relay for Life, the Canadian Cancer Society located in Trail provides a number of supportive avenues.

“Cancer connection” matches an individual with a volunteer who has lived through a similar cancer experience, including the type of cancer and the course of treatment.