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Volunteers gearing up for 2021 Relay for Life

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | Mar 19, 2021

The 2021 Relay for Life may look different than this one from the past; however, the urgency to fundraise for a cure remains constant. Toni Milbourne

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Both Jefferson County and Berkeley County are gearing up for another successful fundraising year in 2021, for Relay for Life.

Looking ahead to June, when the traditional Relay for Life events are normally planned, the goal remains to secure as much funding as possible to help with cancer research.

“While Relay events may look different, the passion and commitment to fight cancer remains the same,” said Penny Horner, American Cancer Society development manager for the Eastern Panhandle and northern Virginia. “Cancer won’t stop and neither can we.

“Whether we come together in person or virtually for this event, let’s rally together in the fight against cancer and make a difference,” Horner said, adding that in both Berkeley and Jefferson counties, the limited ability to raise funds over the past year has placed the future at risk.

“There is a mission urgency,” Horner said. “We want you to help us give hope the advantage for the future to be cancer free.”

How the upcoming Relays will look is not completely clear at this time; however, volunteers in both counties have teams working to make a difference.

Berkeley County’s theme for the coming year is “Cruisin’ for a Cure” while Jefferson County’s theme is “On the Road to Recovery for a Cure.”

According to Horner, anyone interested in joining the fight against cancer is welcome. There are many ways to become involved in the local Relay for Life event to honor and remember loved ones, while taking action to save lives. One may sign up to join a team or start a new one. Existing teams can be found at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life website at relayforlife.org.

If an individual is not able to participate in the relay itself, donations are also an essential part of the fight. Every dollar raised fuels the fight against cancer.

“We envision a future where we no longer live with the threat of cancer. Unfortunately, that future is at risk, and there is a mission urgency since COVID-19 forced the postponement of fundraising activities this past year,” Horner said.

For more than 35 years, participants and volunteers across the world have come together to honor and remember loved ones and take action for lifesaving change with Relay for Life. Funds raised help the American Cancer Society conduct breakthrough research, provide 24/7 support for cancer patients and give access to lifesaving screenings.

To learn more about Relay For Life, visit relayforlife.org or contact Horner at penny.horner@cancer.org or 607-423-4311.