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Pandemic creates funding challenges for Relay for Life

Cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19, and neither does Relay for Life.

But, there were impacts.

“This year with the pandemic, it has been our most challenging year for all Relayers to collect funding,” said Wendy Carter, Warren County Relay for Life 2020-21 marketing coordinator and member of Team Haven Sent. “With businesses shut down or reduced hours and people being unemployed, we haven’t had corporate backing as we have in the past and fund-raising events were shut down.”

“As a result, the American Cancer Society is around $200 million behind on funds world-wide,” Carter said.

Recovering that deficit will be challenging, but, moving forward, the group hopes to at least get back to previous levels.

“Unfortunately cancer does not just go away,” Carter said. “I lost my brother-in-law one day after his 49th birthday … near the end of May, from a brain tumor. He left behind four kids all asking why this had to happen.”

“Unfortunately, most everyone knows someone who has dealt with cancer in one way or another,” she said. “We can no longer sit on our hands and say that ‘someone else can do this.'”

“We need to be involved to help those who cannot help themselves. We have to keep fighting for those afflicted, the studies needed to find cures, the families of those suffering, and to continue to educate the public on warnings to watch for,” she said. “The Relay for Life is a big part of the funding for all of this.”

There will be an organizational meeting for the 2020-21 Relay season at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at North Warren Fire Hall. Anyone interested in more information or starting a team is encouraged to attend. “We need to have as many as possible,” Carter said.

For those who wonder about the feeling at a Relay, it is not a somber one.

“The Relay is far from solemn,” she said. “It is a wonderful camaraderie with one goal in mind… to help beat cancer.”

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