“Cancer doesn’t care about COVID19,” said Tammy Schoonover, Senior Community Development Manager with the American Cancer Society (ACS). “People are still battling cancer, still on cancer journeys.”
Taking this into consideration, ACS is asking for help from residents after making the tough decision to postpone all Relay for Life events scheduled to take place this spring.
“The Cancer Society has to put the health and safety of its staff and volunteers first,” she said, “so we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone all in-person events. But we continue to do all that we can in these unprecedented times to fulfill our mission.”
Relay for Life events, which take place at high schools and other locations throughout the country annually, are some of the biggest fundraisers for the charity.
“While the suspended events certainly create a financial concern, we remain upbeat about attacking cancer from every angle,” said Schoonover. “At this time, we won’t publicly engage in the specific impact of our potential financial losses, but please know they may end up being significant.”
The FishHawk and Bloomingdale area events were scheduled to take place this month and teams had already spent a significant amount of time fundraising, but they are also planning ways to raise money and have fun as a community during the events.
“Equally important, we recognize the emotional attachment our volunteers and supporters have to Relay for Life events,” said Schoonover. “They’re more than fundraisers, they’re grassroot gatherings of strength and courage. As we look to reschedule events, we want to create opportunities that focus on generating emotional support and bringing us together as a community. We will look to do that virtually. Once the social distancing limitations are lifted, it will be so important for ACS to help reignite our sense of community.”
“At this time, all Relay for Life events are reevaluating of how best to move forward with the events and the Planning Committees are working through those details at this time,” said Schoonover. “However, participants, if interested in still supporting the mission, can do so through virtual fundraising this as it will give people a purpose and a diversion at the same time. The fundraising platforms are still in place for each Relay, so fundraising can continue through the Relay websites.”
For more information, visit cancer.org or call Schoonover at 319-5909 ext. 18001.