Survivors began walking the track at the start of the 2017 Langley Relay for Life. (Langley Advance files)

Relay for Life rebrands, merges Surrey, Langley events

The annual Canadian Cancer Society event will see some changes this year.

The Langley Relay for Life is changing and merging with its neighbouring walk for cancer research in Surrey for 2019.

Volunteer and longtime Relay participant Kari Medos said that in 2019, the Canadian Cancer Society event will be rebranded as the Fraser Valley Relay.

“Abbotsford and Chilliwack no longer have teams and hopefully the new name will inspire everyone in the Fraser Valley will feel that this is their relay as we are all part of the Fraser Valley,” Medos told the Langley Advance.

The event will continue at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park, with a new time. This year’s Relay for Life will be held June 8 starting at 2 p.m. and run to 11 p.m., said Medos.

In the past, the event has run from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., before being shortened several years ago to run from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Although the event has raised millions of dollars over the years, attendance had declined somewhat in recent years, with fewer teams.

Medos, as a member of the long-running Gallery team, was last year’s top fundraiser with more than $10,000 in donations. The relay overall raised more than $100,000 in 2018 in Langley alone.

Medos said she hopes to bring together people from Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley and Surrey under one banner for this year’s event.

The Relay for Life is an annual non-competitive relay event, which sees teams take turns walking on a track to mark their commitment to funding cures for cancer.

It’s notable for the annual “survivor lap” which sees cancer survivors in bright yellow shirts take the first turn around the track every year.

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