Taking the plunge for cancer fundraiser at Southern Cross University

Published 24 April 2012

Ann-Maree Wilkinson, Don Campbell, Jenny Dowell
When Southern Cross University hosts the Cancer Council’s Relay For Life in Lismore on April 28 and 29, participants will not only be walking and running to raise money for cancer awareness and prevention, some will be going underwater, too.

The SCU Pool is set to open around the clock for teams choosing to swim laps. It is the first time the Lismore event has offered a water relay option. Runners and walkers will be next door on the University’s sports oval.

“It’s a great use of University’s facilities and it’s wonderful to be able to share them with the community while supporting such a wonderful event,” said the University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee who will officially start the Relay for Life on Saturday April 28 at 2pm.

University staff have spent 18 months getting the facilities ready.

“Getting the oval and pool ready for Relay for Life and then keeping the venues running smoothly across the weekend has been possible thanks to a mammoth effort by University staff,” said senior Tourism and Hospitality Management lecturer Ron Dowell.

Mr Dowell is coordinating the oval and ground logistics with Lismore City Council’s events coordinator, John Bancroft.

“Lighting, parking, waste management and security have all been factored in,” he said.

Relay For Life is an overnight, community event where teams of 10-15 participate in a relay-style walk or run to raise funds for Cancer Council. The community comes together for a night of fun, entertainment, celebration and remembrance.

Mr Dowell has a special reason for getting involved in Relay For Life. His wife, Lismore Mayor Cr Jenny Dowell, survived breast cancer.

“Jenny is doing very well now and this is my way of giving something back and to celebrate survivorship,” he said.

Cr Dowell will read the Relay For Life oath at the start of the marathon event.

Don Campbell, chairman of Relay For Life for Lismore and Villages, said his region’s fundraising goal was $80,000.

“We’re on track to reach that, if not more, given we’re likely to get 100 teams registering which is a record for this region. There’s still time to enter so we encourage everyone to either join a team or get some friends together to form a new team.

“Most of the money raised goes towards cancer research, but we’re fortunate in the Lismore region to know some of the money is coming directly back to us through the Our House project under construction at the Lismore Base Hospital which will provide 20 accommodation units for cancer patients and their families,” said Mr Campbell.

The University community is getting behind Relay For Life, with UniLife, SCU Pool & Gym, SCU Village, SCU Law Students' Society and other staff and students entering teams.

Photo: UniLife’s student affairs officer Ann-Maree Wilkinson and Don Campbell, chairman of Relay For Life for Lismore and Villages, with cancer survivor and Lismore Mayor Cr Jenny Dowell. Event: Relay for Life Lismore and Villages 2012 starts at 2pm Saturday April 28 and finishes at 10am Sunday April 29 at Southern Cross University's Lismore campus, Military Road, East Lismore.

Media contact: Sharlene King media officer, Southern Cross University Lismore, 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349.