Relay for Life stymied again


A second attempt to hold the Cancer Society Relay for Life in Dunedin has been thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

After months of preparation towards a shortened relay event this Saturday, Alert Level 2 requirements have forced the society to call it off.

Cancer Society Otago-Southland events and community campaigns team leader Emma Anderson said the cancelled event could have attracted up to 1000 people to the Octagon on Saturday.

“However, it was not to be have to skip this relay and try again in two years’ time,” Ms Anderson said.

She has been left holding hundreds of pre-ordered T-shirts, bearing the 2020 Relay for Life Dunedin logo, and would be glad to distribute them to the teams who had requested them.

Instead of a public event, the Cancer Society will instead hold a virtual version of the candlelight ceremony highlights of every Relay for Life.

“We are asking people to send us images of loved ones lost to cancer, so that they can be included in our virtual event to celebrate, remember, and fight back against cancer,” she said.

People who would like to share images of loved ones were invited to send them to Ms Anderson by email at

Teams registered for the shortened Relay for Life had been contacted, and were being invited to give their registration fees if possible, and also to deposit funds they had raised.

Overall Relay for Life Dunedin fundraising was down $40,000-$50,000.

“With the annual Cancer Ball, Runway for Life and Central Otago relays also cancelled, our fundraising has been affected this year,” Ms Anderson said.

Fortunately, the public response to Daffodil Day had been “warm and generous”.