The Relay for Life of South King County will be online Saturday, May 30, as the American Cancer Society continues its annual fundraiser during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the 107-year history of the American Cancer Society, fundraisers have been in person, inspirational and a great way to get to know your community. The Relay for Life of South King County has been an annual event at French Field in Kent.
This year the event can be viewed from noon to 1:30 p.m. at facebook.com/RFLSouthKingCounty or on YouTube at youtube.com/channel/UCxQBJJ9JjAVuZRUc0Yw_O6w.
Organizers hope people will be inspired on screen, get to know some of the community organizers, and feel generous to donate to help save lives. Organizers have their fingers crossed that a virtual Relay will deliver the same message—to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer.
“The American Cancer Society is the largest non-governmental funder of cancer research grants in the country, and we are in trouble,” said Tom Flookes, co-chairman of the ACS Board of Directors. “We have been devastated by the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. For the first time in the 107-year history of the ACS, our mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer, is at risk.”
If you have never participated in a Relay For Life, going online to watch can be very inspirational. There is a luminaria celebration—decorated bags luminated by candles with messaging to those who have fought cancer and won, and those who have lost the battle. Survivors are also honored with a virtual lap. Guest speakers will be on hand to inspire, encourage and ultimately explain why we need to help people during the darkest journey of their lives.
According to the ACS, 1.8 million people will be newly diagnosed with cancer this year.
“We need to be there with answers, support, and guidance,’ said Victoria Do, ACS organizer. “But just when these patients need us the most, we’ve had to cancel thousands of fundraising events across the country that are critical to our mission. Literally overnight, the source of nearly half of the ACS revenue vanished. Cancer can’t be postponed or cancelled, and neither can we.”
Funds raised pay for groundbreaking research, programs and services for people dealing with cancer.
“This is a deeply gratifying event—you donate knowing you are literally saving people,” Do said. “We are also celebrating more than 5.5 million cancer survivors nationwide. It is as much a celebration of life as it is reflecting and honoring those we’ve lost. Come join us online.”
Relay for Life of South King County schedule
* Opening Ceremony
Time to get started. We kick off the event by honoring everyone who’s been affected by cancer and everyone who has contributed to the success of this year’s Relay season. Join us on Facebook live as we revisit the success of our 2019 Relay season while continuing the fight in 2020!
* Survivor/Caregiver Recognition
Survivors and Caregivers are the heart and soul of Relay For Life events. We honor their strength and courage with every step they take. It doesn’t matter if you were diagnosed 10 days ago or 10 years ago, you can walk while everyone gathers together to cheer you on. This year might be a little different as we #RelayinPlace, but know we are still fighting for you and celebrating you!
Just because we are going virtual doesn’t mean there won’t be some activities to entertain you! We are still finalizing our entertainment lineup, so check back to see how you can participate.
One confirmed singer is Maple Valley’s Zan Fiskum, a finalist this season on NBC’s “The Voice.” She plans to perform an original song.
* Luminaria Ceremony
During this ceremony we represent everyone touched by cancer with a Luminaria. Each light represents a life—a life taken by cancer, a survivor of cancer, or a support for a person still fighting the disease. It’s a powerful demonstration that gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers comfort and hope. This year we will be sharing a video tribute during our virtual event so people can still share in this highly memorable part of Relay.
* Closing Ceremony
Our closing ceremony is the time to commit to take action and help lead the fight for a world free from cancer. It’s a time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished together and a time to unify for the work that needs to be done moving forward.