Relay for Life prepares for 2021 event

Visiting allows participants and residents to learn more. Organizers and participants, like these folks from 2019, encourage early fundraising as part of the American Cancer Society’s “Fall Challenge,” ongoing through Friday, Oct. 30.

Plans are underway for the 2021 Relay for Life.

Raising funds for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life is currently scheduled for Saturday, April 10.

“We don’t know yet what our event will look like for 2021, but we do know that we will do the very best to fundraise,” Event Lead Carol Poppel told supporters and organizers. “Think outside the box and plan virtual or outdoor fundraisers. Be well and safe — and register online.”

“Heroes of Hope,” Relay for Life’s spring event in Richland and Wilkin counties, was held online April 4, 2020. Participants visited Facebook to view photos and videos, a variation from the usual activity at the Blikre Activity Center in Wahpeton. The change was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our website is now up and ready to assist you with fundraising efforts,” Poppel said.

Visiting allows participants and residents to learn more. Poppel encourages early fundraising as part of the American Cancer Society’s “Fall Challenge,” ongoing through Friday, Oct. 30.

“All you need to do is register online, raise $250 and have it recorded online by Oct. 30, and you will be eligible to earn a long sleeve hooded black relay t-shirt,” she said. “If you qualify, watch for an email with a redemption code to order your shirt.”

The American Cancer Society is calling on supporters to raise $10 million in October, to continue its fight during a public health emergency.

“All of our progress in finding new prevention methods and treatment is at risk. We could not have made it this far without your support. We need your help now more than ever,” the society stated.

First Community Credit Union is the depository for local relay funds, Poppel said. Despite “Heroes of Hope” being a game changing event, it was something local Relay for Life supporters can be proud of.

“Our event leadership team was awarded the ‘Spirit of Relay’ award for the 13-state north region,” Poppel said. “We were recognized for our efforts to produce a virtual relay event within a short time and on the day of our scheduled Relay for Life. It is an award that is shared by all of us.”

Fully known as the Pat Flynn Spirit of Relay Award, the honor is given to communities and individuals who embody the spirit of the “Mother of Relay,” which she shared with participants worldwide.

Cancer never stops and neither do volunteers, the American Cancer Society stated. Relay for Life of Richland-Wilkin was praised for raising $11,000 during the six-hour virtual event and $63,000 over the fundraising year.

“The virtual event included the traditional components of a Relay for Life event, such as the opening and closing ceremonies and luminary ceremony,” ACS continued. “Thanks to the virtual platform, many teams were able to submit and share videos about ‘Why Relay?’”

If it wasn’t for an outstanding response from most teams, Poppel said, “Heroes of Hope” would not have gotten off the ground.

“The event turned out to be an amazing opportunity for teams, participants and even people who hadn’t participated in years to connect with each other virtually,” ACS Community Manager Hannah LeTexier said.

Although virtually, people were able to connect with each other, celebrating the mission of ACS.

“(We were reminded of) the true mission of why we Relay,” LeTexier said.

Daily News will continue to follow this story.

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