Family was at the heart of last weekend’s Melton Relay for Life.

Teams from the area banked more than $55,000 ahead of the two-day event and raised another $10,000 by Sunday.

Relay for Life, one of the Cancer Council’s major annual fundraisers, is now in its
eighth year in Melton and drew thousands
of families, friends, work and community groups together to celebrate and remember loved ones affected by cancer. Melton chair Mary Carroll said the atmosphere was “spiritual”.

“There were more people than we expected,” Ms Carroll said.

“Two standout teams included Ohana and the Smiling Ladybugs.

“The Ladybugs had lost a family member just three weeks ago and had raised nearly $12,000 in less than a month.

“People were concentrating on each other and they didn’t have their walls up so everyone felt comfortable walking alongside strangers and talking to them.

“The whole idea of the event is so that families and the community get together with people they may not have seen for a while, meet new people … and we’re all there for one huge cause.”

Teams that raise more than $5000 can allocate the money towards a preferred area of research. The total for Melton’s event was $64,000 at the beginning of this week, with the grand total to be announced in four weeks.