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The sun was beating down when over 500 participants and supporters, young and old, gathered at the Holy Cross High School Track Field in Surrey 9AM of April 18th.. The event was the 2015 ANCOP Vancouver Spring Relay Run.
The concept is about the CFC community coming together for fellowship and healthy competition, at the same time raise awareness on ANCOP’s work with the poor and solicit donations to augment ANCOP funds.
On its third year, the Spring Relay Run aims to generate the amount to build an ANCOP village in the Philippines every year. The 10-13 beneficiary families are selected from the thousands who still live in poor dwelling conditions waiting to be helped.
It was a beautiful day that Saturday! The sun was up and people in bright colored shirts were hustling and bustling everywhere lending a festive air to the occasion. “After days of rain during the week we were concerned about the weather,” said Alwin Yambao, ANCOP Coordinator for Vancouver. “We prayed hard to God for the rain to stop, and He not only stopped the rain but granted us a perfect weather!” said Melody, wife of Alwin.
The event started with a prayer followed by a parade around the track, every team wearing shirts with their designated color. The sound of drums and cheers made everyone upbeat and full of anticipation for the race ahead. At the end of the parade, each team performed for the cheering contest. Not one team was to be outdone in their cheers, use of pompoms and batons and whistles, body shakes and tumbles!
Each team carried a banner which was also up for competition. The winner was judged for creative use of recycled materials, originality, and conformity to the theme, “Love More.” The contest brought out a display of creative talents as the team made use of empty bottles and caps of pop, TV and computer parts, wood, sackcloth, string, newspaper, straw, cotton balls, and corrugated boxes.
Eleven teams competed, representing various chapters of CFC – the geographical grouping of CFC members in Vancouver. Each team is composed of participants from CFC and its Family Ministries: Handmaids of the Lord, Singles for Christ, Youth for Christ and Kids for Christ. For the first time, Sea to Sky chapter joined (Squamish and Whistler area). The teams competed in the preliminary relay run; the top three moved on to the final round and competed for the championship trophy.
Crowned champion is Vancouver 1 chapter headed by Andrew and Rita Chua. “We are thankful that aside from our family ministry representatives, one whole family of our chapter dedicated themselves for this Spring relay run ensuring they were fit and well-rehearsed for their event,” Rita shared.
“This year we added the sprint category for variety in the competition,” said Jon Javier, coordinator of the 2015 Spring Relay Run together with his wife Marj. “The category provided runners the opportunity to compete for an individual race,” he added.
Kids aging 7-10 displayed their competitive spirit as they tried to outrun each other. Parents running outside the track alongside their children encouraging and egging them on were an amazing sight!
Off the track were food stalls set up by the various teams to sell meals and delicacies like porridge, noodles, pork barbecue, ukoy, rice cakes, and spring rolls. All sales proceeds also went to ANCOP.
Practically all teams took home a prize; a basket of goodies, medal, or a gift certificate. It was a day of fun and fellowship, a day made meaningful to help the POOR!
By Edna Garrucho, ANCOP International (Canada)