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Survivor social offers hope, support... and bingo prizes

Social included many Relay for Life participants; Relay is Saturday, June 8 and Canadian Cancer Society is hoping for a great turnout.
The Canadian Cancer Society hosted a 'survivor social' at the Portugese Hall on Saturday

About thirty organizers, volunteers and survivors of cancer gathered together for an afternoon of music, bingo, conversation and refreshments at the Portuguese Hall in Castlegar on Saturday, April 13.

"It gives cancer survivors [and partners/caregivers of those fighting cancer] a place to get together and socialize," said Stacey Cassidy, coordinator of community giving with the Canadian Cancer Society. "It's all volunteers who run with this; I'm just here to support them."

Many of those who enjoyed the afternoon are participants in the upcoming Relay for Life, held at the Pass Creek Fair Grounds on Saturday, June 8 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Last year, there were 15 teams at the Castlegar Relay for Life and Cassidy is hoping many more will register this year.

Some teams are still accepting new members: visit and select Castlegar from the "Select your community" drop down menu on the top right side of the page.

Jackie Fitchett, who is in her eighth year of helping with Relay for Life, is on a team called the Moonlight Strollers. Last year the team raised about $2,300 and Fitchett said they have raised approximately $15,000 in total.

"There has been a lot of cancer in my family and I just decided to help," she said.

Judy Anderson is a survivor and was happy to take part in the festivities, including a cake cutting ceremony.

"I was diagnosed last May," said Anderson. "I lost a breast, went to Nelson for chemotherapy and then Trail for surgery but things are looking good now."

Beyond much-needed research, funds raised through Relay for Life and the various activities of the Canadian Cancer Society are used in the day-to-day practical support of those fighting the disease.

Cassidy said survival rates for many cancers are climbing up and there is always hope a cure will be found.

Cassidy wanted to thank the volunteers who helped organize the event, and those businesses that provided snacks and prizes.

More information about Relay for Life is at or email: