Fort Smith residents were recognized for their outstanding achievement in this year’s Relay for Life fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society at the Relay’s Western Summit in Victoria on October 25.
Placing ahead of communities across BC, Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, Fort Smith received the title for the highest number of luminaries per participant, as well as the highest average online pledges made.
Mention was made of the town’s accomplishments during an awards ceremony at the summit before the relay’s top volunteers and managers.
“Fort Smith had an average of 6.37 luminaries per person,” said Scott Paterson, a Cancer Society spokesperson at the Alberta-NWT office. “Luminaries are what the relay is all about, so that mark is huge.”
Luminaries are paper lanterns dedicated to honouring loved ones who have passed away, those fighting the disease and cancer survivors. They are lit around the track during the relay in an evening luminary ceremony.
Fort Smith also got the title of highest average pledge received online, at an average of $114.67 per pledge.
“That is two times higher than the national average,” said Paterson.
Inuvik also received recognition from the NWT for its highest average participant revenue of $1145.96. According to Paterson, Inuvik also had exceptionally high averages for money raised per team. While the highest team fundraising average for the province of BC in Coquitlam was $5,000, Inuvik’s was around $7,000 for 20 teams.
“That’s why these numbers look really good,” said Paterson. “We have these really small communities that raise a lot of money. That’s why the numbers are so phenomenal.”
Paterson said records show the NWT doing top-notch fundraising over the past few years.
“As far as I know, based on the averages, most events there do quite well,” he said. “They absolutely should be proud because those are outstanding numbers.”