Police defend Terry Fox Relay title

The PAPS relay team took first place by a good margin over the second place Prince Albert Fire Fighters. Photo Susan McNeil/Daily Herald.

The Prince Albert Police Service successfully defended their title at an annual relay race against other emergency services organizations this past weekend.

Three other teams from Prince Albert Fire Department, Parkland Ambulance and the RCMP all took to the track at Carlton High School the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 11.

“I think this is four (wins in a row),” said Logan Cherewyk, who ran one of the legs for the PAPS.

Winners get their names engraved on a trophy.

The team did not have a lot of time to train together as they work different shifts, but did have a dedicated coach.

“It’s not about winning or losing. It’s fun to see everyone coming out and donations are awesome and it’s allfor a good cause. I don’t think anyone minds coming out for a good cause,” said Cherewyk.

He will be back on the team next year if asked.

The race is the kickstart to the local campaign to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation for Cancer Research and annual runs held to raise money to fund cancer research.

The Prince Albert Fire Department placed second, followed by Parkland Ambulance and the RCMP were last, but this is the first time in about 10 years the force has sent a team.

“I’m a cancer survivor so it means something to me,” said Staff Sergeant Brian Kelly, stationed in Prince Albert with the Indigenous Policing Unit. He ran the first leg for the force.

Other officers who helped with the run have also been affected by cancer so the decision to run  became a personal one.

He and another officer met while running at Little Red and that is how the deal was struck to get the RCMP back into the relay after a decade of absence.

Gray Chemists offered to sponsor the team’s entry fee (which goes to the run) so it was easy to say yes, Kelly said.

One of the sign holders is also a cancer survivor, diagnosed with leukemia at a young age. “We’ve been trying to give back. I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 12,” said Chelsea Mitchell. “We’ve been part of the Relay for Life and also in Saskatoon with the Small But Mighty Sask Run.”

She along with her mother and sister volunteer behind the scenes with Chelsea also taking responsibility for the local social media posts.

“This is our first official year doing it,” Mitchell said. “It’s pretty awesome seeing our first responders coming out and supporting this good cause.”

Given her own history with fighting cancer and the effects of the treatment, Mitchell thinks it’s important to know where the money will go.

Five years after being declared cancer free, she still lives with the results of the treatments needed to eliminate the disease.

“All the money raised will help find alternatives for chemotherapy and alternatives to radiation that are less invasive,” she said. “That would make a huge difference. I still have side effects from chemo.”

Despite the friendly rivalry in the race, the event is about raising money for a good cause. S/Sgt. Brian Kelly hands over a cheque as part of the fundraising effort Photo Susan McNeil/Daily Herald.