Walking around a track last year, not long after losing a family member to cancer, Paul Vaccaro heard tough questions from his children.
“They were trying to understand why their grandfather wasn’t here, why if the Border Relay For Life is here to help prevent cancer, why didn’t that help him, so that was hard to explain,” he said.
“Just around, well, this is an activity we can do for other people, we have to help each other and do more research and raise more money.”
Mr Vaccaro will clock up more laps on October 27 and 28 at Birallee Park, Wodonga, as part of the WAW Credit Union team for the Cancer Council fundraiser.
“It’s almost cathartic to do the Border Relay For Life,” he said.
“It definitely gives you perspective when you’re walking around the track and seeing the support, the people, the survivors.
“It gives you a sense of purpose, just reminds you what’s the most important things in life.”
With 10 to 15 employees in the group and a target of $2000, the WAW relay team is “looking to do the best we’ve ever done” this year.
As well as fundraising ideas, there’s plans for a wellness component in the tent, for example relaxation techniques demonstrated by a yoga teacher.
The company is a sponsor of the annual relay, which raised more than $400,000 last year.
“It’s one of those things you have to attend to get the sense of what it’s like,” Mr Vaccaro said.
“It means different things to different people at different times in their life.”
WAW fraud and payments manager Stan Vyce has attended a Melbourne relay, but this year will be his first on the Border, and follows the cancer death of his wife’s mother earlier this year.
“It’s just a nasty, cruel disease, whatever form it comes in,” Mr Vyce said.
“Whatever we can do to try and overcome it or to support those who go through it, they’re both fantastic aims.
“If we can achieve that by walking around at 3 o’clock in the morning or whatever else, that’s a great way to do it as far as I’m concerned.”
Mr Vyce said the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre was fantastic, remembering his family’s drives to and from Melbourne for treatments.
“Obviously the less of that we can do and the more local support that there is, that makes a huge difference,” he said.
Mr Vaccaro said seeing the work of the volunteer relay organisers was inspiring.
“You get that sense when you talk to the committee about how passionate they are,” he said.
“The amount of effort they put into something like this, you know, really means something and we want to be able to support that activity.”
More details at relayforlife.com.au/Border
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here