Eleven staff members from Taumarunui-based electricity retailer King Country Energy (KCE) have made the local community proud by keeping a relay baton moving for 12 hours straight in a bid to raise awareness and funds for the Cancer Society.
The group was one of 36 teams to participate in the recent superhero themed Cambridge-based Relay for Life held at the Cambridge Raceway on Saturday (10 March).
The purpose of the event was to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer and fight back by raising awareness and funds for the Cancer Society, with each team’s participants taking turns walking or running around a track from 10am until 10pm while enjoying a carnival atmosphere of music and entertainment.
Together the KCE team raised an impressive $2,317.71 of the $58,911 total raised, with KCE staff member and event team-lead Amy Jones coming in as the fourth top-scoring individual having pooled together $1,577 from generous community members.
“Although knackered at the end of it, all eleven of us thoroughly enjoyed the event knowing it was for an excellent cause close to the hearts of countless people in our Taumarunui community,” Amy said.
“To localise our efforts, the team ran with a superhero cape kindly sponsored by Rapunzel Hair Salon. It was adorned with names of those within the Taumarunui community who have either passed away from cancer or are currently on the devastating cancer journey. This was our way of recognising and celebrating these brave people.”
“We’re thrilled to have raised over two grand. This money will help the Cancer Society provide free information, advocacy and supportive care services for people affected by cancer across our region,” she said.
To raise money, the KCE team organised multiple fundraising activities prior to the race including a stall at the February Taumarunui A&P Show, a raffle for a luxury gift pack, and a mufti day with Ngakonui School where the entire student and teacher population showed their support by dressing in superhero outfits and bringing a gold coin donation.
“The support from the Taumarunui community has been remarkable. We truly live in a town full of kind-hearted and generous people willing to dig deep into their pockets for the benefit of those struggling,” Amy said.
KCE community relations manager Helen Peacock said KCE staff members take seriously their role of being ‘the power behind the community’ as per the company’s tagline, and participation in the Relay for Life was a great demonstration of this.
“KCE staff members have participated in various fundraising events for as long as I can remember. In recent years, for example, they’ve hiked hundreds of stairs in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand and ran around Mount Taranaki to raise money for Avonlea Rest Home and Hospital.
“This year they wanted to do something different. The Relay for Life was a popular choice, given that everyone knows someone - directly or indirectly – affected by cancer. What’s more, the Cancer Society doesn’t receive any direct government funding and therefore relies on the support and generosity of communities. This was our chance to help in a practical way,” Helen said.
“It was a fun event and we look forward to seeing lives changes because of the money raised.”
PICTURED ABOVE: Left to right - KCE staff members Rob Foster, Alex Polaschek, Jana Reynolds, Matt van Rooyen, Amy Jones, Shelley Carter, Sue Burton, Che Houpapa, Jade Bai (in front).