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Days before the Relay for Life of Palm Beach County’s last planned live event in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organization to pause its annual tradition.
In order to continue its support of the American Cancer Society, the Relay for Life began hosting drive-thru events.
After a short hiatus, the fundraiser will now be back to a live format from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., in West Palm Beach.
“All I can say is excitement,” Relay for Life of Palm Beach co-event lead Candice Adams said about the event returning to a live format. “Last year, we sort of did a drive-thru where people can come through and see the tent sites that the teams had set up and decorated.
“This year, we’re back to having the full setup with people walking around and walking the track,” she said. “Everybody is so excited. Everybody is so happy to be back to what we have been doing in the past years because it feels like coming home.”
The event will feature live entertainment, a kids’ activity zone with bounce houses and the popular Luminaria Ceremony, which allows individuals to dedicate a small paper lantern decorated with names and messages to a loved one lost, someone currently battling or anyone who has overcome cancer. The Luminarias are lit after dark and participants take a moment of silence to remember and honor their loved ones.
During the event, cancer survivors and caregivers will also be pampered as much as possible, with the group set to receive free meals and gifts.
“We missed relaying,” said Lisa Noel, the senior development manager for the Southeast Region of the American Cancer Society. “We missed being out there. We missed being with our friends, family and the community.
“[We missed] bringing everyone together, the activities, the excitement, the fun but, more importantly, the Luminaria Ceremony,” she said. “[We missed] the survivors, honoring them and being there for them…The event itself is like a celebration for all of our hard work.”
All proceeds raised during the event will directly benefit the American Cancer Society.