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All American Cancer Society events suspended through June, Delano Relay for Life could be held in fall, but still uncertain

May 4, 2020

By Cheryl Hill, Event Lead for 2020 Relay For Life – Delano 

Delano Relay For Life 2020 Event Lead Cheryl Hill wants to provide an update on the status of the community’s Relay For Life.

As with everything in our lives today, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has been affected by the Coronavirus.  However, the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer remains the same. To this end, ACS has made some decisions concerning Relay For Life events for 2020.

  • All events have been suspended through the end of June 2020. For California and the Western Region this is 21 Relay For Life Events, a golf tournament, a fashion show, and numerous feeder events such as survivor socials, car shows etc. ACS will be following all recommendations and guidelines from public health departments, as well as government officials as decisions are made for resumption of events.
  • All T-shirts (ELT, Team Captain, Hope Club, and Survivors) have been suspended.
  • ELT and Team Captain gifts have also been suspended.
  • Relay Rewards, Grand Club and All Star programs have been suspended, but participants will be eligible to receive their reward if desired in 2021.
  • In-lieu of the Hope Club T-shirt, ACS will credit each participant who raises at least $100 with 50 extra Relay Reward points.
  • Events have been asked to reduce/eliminate expenses as much as possible.

So, what does this mean for our 2020 event?  

  • If at all possible, we will plan for an event probably in the fall.  Will it look the same?  We honestly don’t know.
  • If we can’t hold a traditional type event, we will do a virtual Relay For Life event.  What will that look like?  A wonderful question that all of us together will figure out.
  • Please continue fundraising to your level of comfort.  Please remember to be safe and mindful of the request to social distance.  We would like to reach or surpass our goal of $100,000 this year by the time we hold our event.  Please reach out to Jaime Hernandez at hernanj38@ah.org to have fundraising events posted on our Facebook page.
  • In-lieu of regular Relay For Life T-shirts a couple of ideas have been suggested.
  1. Since we were already doing a Relay Rewind type theme, we wear t-shirts from previous years.
  2. We design a special t-shirt to celebrate our 20th year of Relay For Life in Delano. (This was already being discussed).
  3. A Relay shirt designed especially for this year.

“On a lighter note, I was contacted by a wonderful young lady, Maria Ayon, about joining us,” Hill said. “Maria became involved in Relay For Life six to seven years ago when she joined the Princeton School team.”

“For the past three years, Maria has lived in Bakersfield and helped coordinate Kids Camp for the Bakersfield Relay event.  Maria is moving back to Delano and wants to be involved with our Relay,” she said. “Along with Maria comes her fiancé, Enrique Garcia who has been involved with Relay here in Delano and Bakersfield as well.  I am extremely happy to welcome them aboard.  Both Maria and Enrique have some wonderful ideas for Kids Camp and our Relay overall.

The information concerning the American Cancer Society’s response and actions at this time will be released soon.  I have been told an e-mail will be sent to each register participant possibly on Monday.  I am assuming a news release will be made as well.  Out of respect to all those involved in local Relay For Life events, we were given this information before it is released totally public and asked to pass it along to our Event Leadership Team and Team Captains.  Team Captains, you are welcomed and encouraged to pass along the information to your team members.

Again, out of respect for all involved, please allow the American Cancer Society to send their e-mails and provide their new releases before you post anything publicly. Thanks for your cooperation.

If anyone has any questions/concern, or I have left anything out, please let me know.

Octoavio Magana reminded us last night that we did say we wanted a 2020 memorable event.

Laura Kemp also reminded us, “Cancer hasn’t stopped, and neither will we.”

Thank you for all you do for your team, our local Relay For Life event, but most importantly, what your involvement means to those fighting cancer.

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