Despite terrible weather, over 100 Year 11–13 students ran the Relay for Life in April this year, raising over $36,000 for the Cancer Society in the process.
Hobson Prefect Jourdan Craig was one of the organisers of the QMC team. She says it was the good experience of taking part last year that encouraged her to get involved and lead the team in raising money for the Cancer Society in 2019. “The Cancer Society is one of the stand-out charities of New Zealand, and I know it has helped many families and friends of students at QMC,” Jourdan says.
“Relay for Life is the Cancer Society’s main fundraising event, so it was essential that we were present.”
This year, Jourdan and the team wanted to focus on the fundraising aspect of Relay for Life. “I wanted to take advantage of the fact that Relay for Life was taking place slightly later this year to push the girls to raise as much as they could to give back to this amazing cause.”
To do this, the team set goals, one of which was to reach $50,000 in fundraising. “We tasked each person with raising as much money as they could individually, and we gave each year group a fundraising initiative. I wanted students from all three year groups to be involved equally because I believed this was how we would be in the best position to reach our fundraising goal.
“At one of our first meetings, we were introduced to the concept of ‘Superhero Status’, which is a challenge set by the Cancer Society to help push fundraising. To achieve Superhero Status, your team either had to raise $50,000 total or $350 per person. While this goal was very ambitious, we still wanted to give it a go.
“At our final meeting before the event, we were on $28,000 and we encouraged everyone to get as much money as they could to reach $30,000. I remember watching the QMC fundraising page the moment we ticked over the $30,000 mark and feeling an overwhelming sense of happiness, pride and satisfaction that we had reached our goal.”
Since then, the team has raised over $36,000 and was the top team in Wellington for fundraising for the duration of the event.
Relay for Life was run over 6–7 April; however, it was cancelled in the final hours due to torrential rain flooding the tracks. Jourdan says the weather did not dampen the spirit of the students. “I could sense the excitement as the girls started to arrive. Their continued enthusiasm and energy kept us going into the small hours of the morning. We had the best team culture at that venue by far.
“A particular highlight for me was our QMC dance party we had at midday. We had the music up, and everyone was singing and dancing and having an awesome time. Another highlight was seeing all the girls show such eagerness to run laps as fast as they could. The track was not easy to sprint and many of the girls surprised me in how fast they were. It was a pleasure to see so many girls come back to base absolutely drenched from the rain but with the biggest smiles on their faces. Everyone took care of each other, always offering food and blankets to those who had just done a shift. It was great to see.”
Jourdan says she is grateful for the support the team had in the lead-up to and during the event, including from their sponsors Brendan Clarke from Best Build Construction and Richard Evans from Laser Aesthetics.
“All the parents and teachers who were supervisors for our team during the event are the real superheroes in our eyes.”