Staying up late may have been the initial motivation behind the Y2K’s Relay for Life team but the group of Squamish youths have surpassed even their own expectations when it comes to fundraising for the event.
The team of 11- and 12-year-old boys is the No. 1-ranked local team, having raised more than $4,200 as of press time.
“At my friend’s birthday we came up with the idea,” said team member Callum MacDonald. “We decided if we wanted to stay up all night that we might as well help somebody.”
MacDonald said the nine team members have been close friends since Kindergarten and seven of the nine play on the Y2K’Z, Squamish’s U-13 boys’ rep soccer team. He said the team has been raising money in a variety of ways.
“We helped a lot in the community, just getting out there and getting donations,” he said. “We did a lot of fundraisers, we sold frozen yogurt and did bottle drives.”
The cause of the event hit home for several team members, who have been personally impacted by cancer.
“A guy on the team’s dad has cancer and that’s one of the main reasons why we did it,” he said. “It gives us more of a push to do it because everyone has been affected by cancer.”
The team is made up of MacDonald, Mark Roblin, William Boyar, Thomas Burns, Jack Cormack, Jacob Ellis, Stuart Loop, Connor Lum and Nick Sutherland.
Karen MacDonald, Callum’s mother, said the team members have rallied to support those they know and love who have gone through a battle with cancer.
“This team came to be from a desire to help one another cope with family illnesses over the past two years,” she wrote in an email. “One of the participants’ father is a cancer survivor after a very tough and emotional past 18 months. Another member lost his uncle, a very well known Squamish athlete and much loved family, to cancer two years ago. Yet another member lost his grandfather earlier this month. Each member of this team has been affected in one way or another by cancer and together, this group is reaching out to their peers and now to the community of Squamish.”
The annual Relay for Life event is set to take place on Friday (June 22) starting at 7 p.m. on the Brennan Park all-weather fields. The event runs until 7 a.m. on Saturday (June 23) morning and there are 27 teams set to take part in the seventh annual Squamish run. As of press time, more than $35,000 has been raised by Squamish teams.
For more information and details on how to donate, visit www.relaybc.ca.