The American Cancer Society saw its Relay For Life events go unfulfilled in 2020, but the passion of its volunteers and the focus on its mission never wavered.

Many local and national nonprofits are looking to 2021 to be a new year of hope and prosperity. 2020 saw many of their yearly fundraisers get cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the American Cancer Society (ACS) is gearing up for a great 2021.

The American Cancer Society saw its Relay For Life events go unfulfilled in 2020, but the passion of its volunteers and the focus on its mission never wavered. ACS and its Southeast Hillsborough County supporters continued to fund efforts that saved lives, celebrated lives and moved us closer to a world without cancer.

“Cancer hasn’t stopped and many of the Relay teams have already signed up and begun fundraising,” said ACS Development Manager Tammy Schoonover. “However, in the Greater Brandon area, we have started out slow as collectively to date we have raised just over $4,100 versus $22,000 at this same time last year.”

ACS will continue to use guidelines from the CDC and other government municipalities to determine the future of Relay For Life events and other in-person events. Relay events for the 2021 season will transition from tradition and rely more heavily on virtual platforms, volunteer efforts and community connections.

“It’s not the walk, it’s the why,” Schoonover said. “Why we relay is what is important and there are many ways to support that ‘why’ and the American Cancer Society mission.”

The Bloomingdale virtual Relay For Life event is being held on Saturday, April 30, from 6-10 p.m. via Facebook Live. The event will be very similar to an in-person event and will still have the same ceremonies, such as the opening ceremony, luminaria and closing ceremonies.

“ACS is very grateful for its many supporters, donors and volunteers, and without their tireless help, we cannot do what we do,” Schoonover said. “We know they’ve had their own challenges, and that makes their support even more remarkable.”

The details for this event are still being worked out, but for more information about the Bloomingdale virtual Relay For Life, you can contact Event Lead Kerry Heron at www.relayforlife.org/bloomingdalefl or Student Ambassador Esha Saini at eshasaini13@gmail.com. The website for registration is www.relayforlife.org/bloomingdalefl.