Langley Relay for Life will honour longtime team member

Brenda Alberts was a founder of one of the Relay for Life’s original Langley teams.

One of the Langley Relay for Life’s stalwart supporters will be remembered this June with a special lap at the cancer-fighting event.

Brenda Alberts was a founder of the team mostly known over the years as the Gallery Gals. The team, now dubbed the Gallery, has been with the Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser since it began 13 years ago.

Alberts was an art gallery owner and tireless volunteer, working around the community on a wide variety of projects over the years.

Alberts passed away in August at the age of 66.

This year’s captain, Kari Medos, said the team is planning a big reunion for their founder.

“We’re going to be gathering as many of the current and original members, and any in between,” she said.

Everyone who’s taken part as a member of the team is invited to come to this year’s Relay for Life, on June 9 at McLeod Athletic Park.

The plan is to hold a special lap in her honour, most likely after the survivor lap that begins every year’s event.

The Gallery team has been a constant presence at the Relay for Life, but its membership has continually changed over the years.

Medos joined seven years ago. Last year she was a top fundraiser at the Relay.

She had turned 57, the same age her mother was when she died of cancer. Medos dedicated herself to raising $5,700 and walking 57 laps of the track in honour of her mother.

“My feet disagreed with that decision, but I did it,” she said.

Medos father also died of cancer, and her husband went through treatment for colon cancer – he’s now been cancer free for five years.

That’s why hundreds of people sign up and fundraise for the Relay for Life every year, Medos said. The money raised goes to the Canadian Cancer Society, for new research into cancer treatment, and to support patients and survivors.

This year’s relay will be six hours long, from 6 p.m. to midnight.

With Canada’s 150th birthday coming up, the theme is all things Canadian.

Country singer Emily Taylor Adams will perform, there will be interactive games including a lacrosse shoot-out and an obstacle course, and the White Spot Pipe Band will perform during the luminary ceremony.

Teams will be bigger this year – the limit of 15 members per team has been lifted.

“We have some teams that are in the 30s,” said organizer Jen Schroeder.

Cancer survivors, as always, are invited to come and take part in the opening lap.

“It’s free for survivors to come out,” said Schroeder.

Survivors can also receive dinner catered by the Town Pub.

For more information, or to join a team or donate, visit the Langley Relay for Life website.