Kildare Relay for Life 2017 set to kick off tomorrow at Punchestown racecourse

Fundraiser for Irish Cancer Society

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

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paul@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare Relay for Life 2017 set to kick off tomorrow at Punchestown racecourse

Mary, Carmel, and Catherine Rafferty remembering loved ones at Relay for Life Kildare 2016.

Relay for Life — the celebration of cancer survivors — kicks off this weekend at Punchestown Racecourse.

The opening ceremony is planned for tomorrow, Saturday at 3pm.

Peter O’Neill, one of the organisers, expressed some disappointment for this year’s version, which is taking place at the Naas venue for the first time — as it will in 2018.

SEE ALSO: Kildare Relay for Life 2017 relocated to Punchestown racecourse

There is a team from Leixlip taking part this year but it’s the only representative from north Kildare.

“I know fundraising is getting more difficult but the number of teams taking part has fallen from 52 last year to 32 this time,” Mr O’Neill told the Leader.

More money was raised in County Kildare than in any other county last year.

Mr. O’Neill also pointed out that a good deal of advanced cancer research actually takes place in Ireland and Irish scientists have been responsible for some groundbreaking strategies to deal with the disease.

“It is important to raise money because only 2% of the money going into this area comes from the State,” added Mr. O’Neill.

Relay for Life Kildare is more than a celebration of survivors; it’s also a remembrance of friends and relations who have passed away - marked with 24 hours of family fun.

The survivors will get the relay started at 3pm. Each team will follow and commit to having at least one member walking around the symbolic candle bag for the following 24 hours.

In between there will be music and many forms of entertainment. Also, representatives of the National Bowel Screening Programme between 3pm and 7pm on Saturday.

READ MORE: Relay for Life team recruitment drive targets Naas