Kildare GAA football legend Johnny Doyle, the new Ambassador for Relay For Life Kildare, with committee members Peter, Caroline, Peter, Lisa, Sharon and Chair, Amy. Photo Pat Tinsley.
For all the teams in Relay for Life 2019, the hard work and dedication has paid off and now attention turns to the actual 24 hours of relay which takes place at Punchestown Racecourse this weekend.
On Saturday 6 and Sunday, July 7, the event will run from 1pm each day. Thankfully, the weather predictions are good, with sunshine and cloud predicted tomorrow, and temperatures at 20 degrees. Sunday will see an increase to 20 degrees, with cloud and sunshine again predicted.
Teams have had some unusual and novel ideas for their fundraisers and indeed still have a few surprises over the weekend – but hopefully, there won't be any gale force winds to spoil the event. Last year's hosting of Relay for Life at Punchestown had to be cancelled owing to strong winds and serious health and safety issues.
“Once again, communities from many parts of the county come together to celebrate, remember and continue to fight back against cancer” said Peter O'Neill.
“We celebrate our survivors” he added. “And we remember those who have died - our 'Relay' is the fight back”.
Thousand of candle bags have been sold and will be laid out by the scouts to form the Relay track. The first group to lead off will be survivors and this year, almost 200 have signed up. Each team will then have at least one member on the track for the 24 hours and the Candle of Hope Ceremony will take place at dusk when a very large crowd is expected to attend.
Chairperson, Amy Mahon is looking forward to welcoming all teams and supporters and again, Relay is a totally free event. “We are urging people from Co Kildare to come to Punchestown and savour the wonderful atmosphere at the weekend, and see the way people come together to talk about their journey with cancer exchange stories and help one another” continued Peter.
“There will no doubt be some tears but also much laughter as the candles burn brightly through the night. As we have now started an initiative through schools regarding the dangers of smoking and drugs, plus embracing a healthy diet, children are encouraged to come along with parents and support Relay.”
He extended an invitation to all to come and join the event: “We look forward to seeing a bumper crowd at the weekend to celebrate, remember and fight back”.
Saturday and Sunday next, July 6 and 7 – Relay for Life Kildare 2019 at Punchestown Racecourse from 1pm.