A list of the most common questions that people ask about Relay. Click on the links to find the answers.
If you cannot find the answer to your question please contact Debra O'Neil, firstname.lastname@example.org
1. About Relay For Life
How did Relay For Life start?
Who organises each Relay For Life?
How much money does Relay For Life raise in donations?
How do I find out more information about Relay For Life in my local area?
Where does my money go?
What does 'Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back' mean?
When is the Relay event?
Who can get involved?
How do I become a committee member?
2. Getting Started
How much does it cost to register?
What does the registration fee include?
What is included in the fundraising total on my team, and individual page?
How many people can I have in my team?
Can I just show up on the day to register and join a team?
What does it mean to be a team captain?
What is the minimum age for team captains and members?
How can my business get involved?
I'm a cancer survivor/carer, how can I get involved?
I am unable to join a Relay/team, how can I register?
3. Fundraising and Support
How much money do teams members need to raise?
My donation has not appeared on the website, has there been a mistake?
What money is tax deductible?
Where can I buy Relay For Life merchandise?
How do I fundraise?
What do I do with my receipt books and raffle books?
What do I do with the cash I have fundraised?
What happens on the day?
Where can I collect my t-shirt and registration pack?
What is in my registration pack?
Do I need to do a minimum number of laps or hours?
Do people run for the entire Relay?
Do all team members need to stay overnight at the track?
Ho can I book a campsite?
What happens in the case of bad weather?
What do I need to bring on the day?
Can I change my team name after I have registered?
Can I bring my pet?
Q. How did Relay For Life begin?
A. Relay For Life's journey began in May 1985 when a US colorectal surgeon, Dr. Gordy Klatt, wanted to boost the income of his local American Cancer Society office to support all of his cancer patients. He spent a grueling 24 hours circling a track in Tacoma, Washington and raised over $27,000 to fight cancer. Since then, the event has spread across the USA and then across the globe. Relay For Life events are now held in more than 600 communities spanning 20 countries.
Relay For Life began in Australia in 1999, when the Victorian community of Murrumbeena raised over $75,000, for Cancer Council. Relay For Life is now in every state, and raises over $18 million across the country each year for the cancer fight.
Q. Who organises each Relay?
A. The event is volunteer-driven, with Cancer Council staff coaching volunteers. Committee members, led by a committee chair are assigned responsibility to recruit new teams, find sponsors, survivors, help teams learn more about Relay For Life and Cancer Council NSW. Other committee members focus on event production such as activities, logistics, planning ceremonies, advertising the event and much more.
Q. How much money does Relay raise in donations?
A. Relay For Life is now run in all Australian states and territories and raises over $18 million each year. In 2010, Relay For Life raised over $6 million in NSW alone. This makes it one of the largest income sources for Cancer Council NSW and enables a large proportion of the organisation's research, prevention and support programs.
Q. How do I find out more information about Relay For Life in my local area?
A. Each Relay will have contact information of the Relay coordinator on the individual Relay pages. Please feel free to contact that person via email or phone.
Q. Where does my money go?
A. Cancer Council NSW funds more cancer research than any other charity in the state. This year we have added ten new projects to our vibrant external grants portfolio and we continue to expand our internal research program.
Bringing promising research out of the lab and into treatment centres is another important priority and our commitment to clinical trials grows and grows.
We are confident that funding quality research and researchers today will produce the breakthroughs we need to ensure ongoing improvements in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.
We strongly believe that no one should have to go through a cancer diagnosis alone. Our Cancer Council Connect service endeavours to match newly diagnosed cancer patients, with any type of cancer, with trained volunteers who have been through a similar experience. We also provide information, support groups, a telephone helpline, accommodation and transport support services and much more.
These services help everyone, no matter who you are or where you live. We do not receive government funding so these programs are only possible through the generous support of NSW communities.
For more information, please visit our "Making a Difference" page.
Q. What does 'Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back' mean?
A. 'Celebrate' - Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The first lap honours cancer survivors and carers who take to the track proudly wearing coloured sashes. All participants gather around the track to applaud the courage and strength shown by those completing the lap. With motivation levels high, all are eager to hit the track as Relay For Life begins with all participants walking the second lap together. Following the second lap, a special reception is held for survivors, carers and special guests. All cancer survivors and carers are welcome to take part in the walk whether they are part of a team or not. Survivors are those who are now cancer-free or those who are currently undergoing treatment. Carers include those walking with the person they cared for and those walking in honour of a loved one lost.
'Remember' - A time to remember, a time for hope. As dusk settles, candle tributes are placed along the inside of the track for the start of the Candlelight Ceremony. For a small donation, you can light a candle to honour and support someone living with cancer or in memory of a loved one lost. Bags inscribed with messages of love, remembrance and hope give a warm glow to inspire Relay participants as they walk through the night.
'Fight back!' - After the Relay concludes and teams have celebrated successfully completing the overnight challenge, take part in the special closing ceremony that celebrates the achievements of the Relay, and provides everyone with an opportunity to keep on fighting. During this ceremony, you make a pledge to continue the fight against cancer in your own special way. Perhaps it's as simple as getting a mammogram, recommending your neighbour or father get a health check, committing to losing weight, or telling your neighbour to call Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 to get more information on their cancer diagnosis. Such simple steps can and do save lives.
Q. When is the Relay event?
A. There is no single date for Relay For Life. It is held throughout the year and at different times. Please click here to search for your local Relay.
Q. Who can get involved?
A. Anyone and everyone in the community has a chance to celebrate, remember, and fight back. There is no age limit, however if there are under 18's getting involved they will require supervision. Please see the Getting Started section.
Q. How do I become a committee member?
A. Getting involved as a committee member is a great achievement and can take your involvement in the fight against cancer to that next level. To find out more about becoming a committee member, please contact your Relay Coordinator whose details can be found on the Relay event page.
2. Getting Started
Q. What does the fee include?
A. The fee includes participation in the Relay, an official Relay For Life polo shirt, breakfast and covers the cost of entertainment and event staging. It also covers essential safety and security at the event, like the presence of St John Ambulance.
*Please note that the Registration Fee is non-refundable and will be gratefully accepted as a donation to Cancer Council NSW should you not participate.
Q. What is included in the fundraising total on my team and individual fundraising pages?
A. The total includes donations, event sponsorship and merchandise sales. There may be a processing delay for donations made offline (e.g. at the bank or direct to Cancer Council) to be reflected in this total.
Q. How many people can I have in my team?
A. More than 15 members have proved too difficult to manage. If your team is growing, consider splitting it into two and have more members to join in the fun of Relay. With fewer than 10, it's hard to keep someone on the track for the whole event.
Q. Can I just show up on the day and join a team?
A. Yes, all Relays will have a registration table so if you have missed the online registrations, don't fret. Just head on down ready to Relay and look for the registration table.
Q. What does it mean to be a team captain?
A. Team captains and team members are the "foot soldiers" in Relay For Life. Team captains organise and delegate their team's fundraising events throughout the year. They receive the team's information pack which contains vital information on the upcoming Relay. Team captains are also responsible for gathering the receipt books and raffle books to be returned to Cancer Council NSW. Team captains help get their team organised and keep them motivated to reach their fundraising target and may also be in charge of setting up times when the team members take turns doing laps on the track.
Q. What is the minimum age for team captains and members?
A. Relay For Life is open to all ages. However all youth teams (under 18 years) MUST have two adult supervisors at the track at all times. There is a separate form for all youth teams. Please contact your local Cancer Council office for further details.
All under 18 participants must have parent / guardian signed permission to attend the event. Parents are required to ensure adult supervision is provided for their children while at the event.
Youth Team Captains
All youth Team Captains must have parent / guardian signed permission to attend the event (see above). In addition, all youth Team Captains must be accompanied by an adult supervisor throughout the duration of the event. Adult supervisors must be over the age of 25 and are completely responsible for the behaviour of the youth they oversee and must be in attendance at all times throughout the Relay.
The Cancer Council requires two supervisors over the age of 25 for every youth (under 18's) team. If your team is larger than 12 youth participants, more supervisors are required. Supervisors are required to sign-in at the beginning of the event. Youth team Supervisors are completely responsible for the behaviour of the youth they oversee and must be in attendance at all times throughout the Relay. Any youth anti social behaviour will result in immediate eviction from the grounds.
Q. How can my business get involved?
A. Relay For Life cannot happen without the support and sponsorship from businesses as well as the general public.
We seek sponsorship contributions in the form of:
To find out more about local sponsorship opportunities and our recognition program please contact your local Cancer Council office.
Q. I'm a cancer survivor/carer, how can I get involved?
A. Survivors and carers are the guests of honour at Relay. All survivors and carers are invited to walk the Survivors & Carers lap where you lead the way around the track while being honoured and applauded by all participants. There is no limit to how involved you can be. You can join a committee or simply participate in the event.
Q. I am unable to join a Relay/team, how can I register?
A. You have missed the online registrations, probably because the Relay you are trying to join is on within the next couple of days. You are still able to go to the event and registrer on the day. Just head on over to the registration table where you can pay and be on your Relay way!
3. Fundraising and Support
Q. How much money do team members need to raise?
A. There is no specific amount, but it's a good idea to have a goal - in fact you should set one when you register on this site. We would suggest $150 per person is a good starting goal but you can choose any amount. Some people who do Relay every year will set a higher goal each time and try to beat their previous year's amount raised. All donations, no matter how big or small are greatly appreciated.
Q. My donation has not appeared on the website, has there been a mistake?
A. Donations can sometimes take up to an hour to appear, please be patient and take another look after an hour. If your donation has not appeared within this time, please contact us.
Q. What money is tax deductible?
A. All donations of $2.00 or more are tax deductible when the donor receives nothing of value in return. However, should you purchase a raffle ticket or an entry ticket to a fundraising event this is not a tax deduction. If the donation is made online, a tax deductible receipt is sent via email immediately. If the donation is made in cash, the donor can request a hand written receipt from the receiver. Receipt books can be requested through the registration process or by contacting your Relay Coordinator whose details can be found on the Relay event page.
Q. Where can I buy Relay For Life merchandise?
A. All Relays will have merchandise for sale on the day. You can also request merchandise during the registration process or from your Relay coordinator whose details will be on the Relay's page.
Q. How do I fundraise?
A. The best fundraising tool you can use is the website. You have the option of sending your page to your friends via a number of avenues such as email, Facebook and Twitter. Fundraising can also be as simple as asking for a donation from friends, a raffle at your workplace or hosting a trivia night. The variety of fundraising activities is only limited by your imagination! It's always a great idea to tell your supporters that their contribution is making a real impact on the work of the Cancer Council.
Q. What do I do with my receipt books and raffle books?
A. All receipt books and raffle books issued (used and unused) must be returned to your team captain, who will then return them to Cancer Council NSW. This is an Australian Tax Office (ATO) requirement and you will be asked to complete a statutory declaration if a receipt book is lost.
Q. What do I do with the cash I have fundraised?
A. Please do not take the cash raised to the Relay event. Each team captain is given a NAB deposit slip in the registration pack which needs to be filled in and taken to your local NAB branch. If you do not have a NAB branch near you, there are a few other options given to you on the deposit slip such as BPAY, Credit Card, cheque or money order.
Q. Where can I collect my t-shirt and registration pack from?
A. Most commonly, you can collect these from your Relay's information night or on the day. If you are unsure, please contact your Relay event page and contact the organiser.
Q. What is in my registration pack?
A. Receipt books, donation tally sheets, return slips, NAB deposit slips, team information, event information, survivor & carer registration, fundraising ideas, brochures and posters and authority to fundraise cards.
Q. Do I need to do a minimum number of laps or hours?
A. No. It's not a race or endurance test. We simply ask that teams have at least one person on the track at all times. Some team members may set personal goals and end up doing more laps than others.
Q. Do people run for the entire Relay?
A. Relay For Life is not a running event however some people do choose to run for part of the event. If you do decide to run, please get a health check up to ensure your fitness levels will take you the distance.
Q. Do all team members need to stay overnight at the track?
A. We encourage all team members to stay overnight on the track. It is fun, builds community spirit and encourages everyone to keep walking. Remember, cancer doesn't sleep!
However, we understand that some people won't be able to be at the track for the whole event. We ask that team members try to stay at the track for as long as possible to support each other and share the relay roster however this is up to you team to work out.
Q. What happens in the case of bad weather?
A. The event will generally go ahead rain or shine. In extreme bad weather the organising committee will decide whether it is safe for the event to continue.
Q. What do I need to bring to the event?
A. Please bring your own refreshments or you can often purchase food and drinks at the venue. Check with your local Relay organising committee in case there are any special requirements. A healthy breakfast is provided to each participant as part of the registration fee. Here is a list of the essential items to bring to a Relay:
Q. Can I change my team name after I have registered a team?
A. Yes, this is possible. Please contact us and let us know your old and new team name and ensure the spelling is correct.
Q. Can I bring my pet?
A. No, unfortunately dogs and other pets are not permitted at any Relay For Life event. Please do not bring your dog/pet to the venue as they will not be allowed into the venue. Naturally, guide dogs are an exception to this rule.