Early in May 2011, the staff at the Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women (NLCCW) decided to start raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, being held in Clarenville, NL on June 11, 2011. A theme and name quickly emerged for NLCCW’s team, “KISS Cancer Goodbye”, in recognition of the upcoming KISS performance scheduled for the Salmon Festival in Grand Falls, Newfoundland this summer.
Team members decided to dress up as the band “KISS” and when staff began to brainstorm, ideas began to run wild. The Relay was not only a fund-raising event or a way to involve inmates in helping the community; it was so much more. Staff benefited greatly from the event as well. It provided a way to get to know one another better and to build on various skills, mainly team building. It also gave one staff member, who was a Cancer Survivor (three times over), a chance to celebrate this victory with her family, friends, co-workers and the community as a whole.
When the staff of the NLCCW were introduced as "KISS Cancer Good-Bye", the crowd went wild! Many people requested to have their picture taken with "the band". This year’s Relay meant a lot to everyone who participated and helped out in the event. It gave NLCCW’s staff and inmates a way to connect and build stronger, more trusting relationships, thus improving their chances of rehabilitation and improving their lives. It provided a way for staff and inmates to build on team work and other skills. It also gave everyone an outlet for their creativity and served to be highly motivating. But most importantly, the Relay was to help find a cure for this debilitating disease and to remember those who have passed on. It was also a celebration for survivors and to give them the honor that they so deserve.
So let’s not just “KISS cancer Goodbye” today, let’s “KISS cancer Goodbye” each and everyday so that we don’t have to lose another person to cancer. Maybe while KISS is in Newfoundland this summer, they could drop by the NLCCW in Clarenville on their way to Whitbourne for a quick visit...Shannon will know where it is where she is a Newfoundlander and all :)