Relay For Life modified to drive-thru format

  • Participants make their way around the track during the 24th annual Franklin County Relay For Life in 2019 at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield. This year’s event is being held in a drive-thru format. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Luminaries, honoring those affected by cancer, light the pathway along the track during the 24th annual Franklin County Relay For Life in 2019 at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield. This year’s event is being held in a drive-thru format, and the luminaria ceremony will be held as usual at 9 p.m. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Luminaries line the track while attendees set up around a campfire during the 24th annual Franklin County Relay For Life in 2019 at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield. This year’s event is being held in a drive-thru format, and the luminaria ceremony will be held as usual at 9 p.m. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 6/7/2021 5:23:30 PM

GREENFIELD — The 25th annual Relay For Life of Franklin County will look a little different than in previous years, while still offering the same message of hope and raising money for the American Cancer Society.

“In the past, the Relay For Life is a 24-hour event, but due to COVID, we’ve adjusted it to be a drive-thru relay,” said Lisa McGue, a member of the Tri-Chair Committee, which plans the Relay For Life of Franklin County.

According to the American Cancer Society, Relay For Life is an international event in which participants take turns walking around a track to show support for those who have been affected by cancer, and to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s life-saving cancer research and programs.

This year, however, Relay For Life of Franklin County is holding a modified version of the event. The 2020 event consisted only of a luminaria ceremony on Facebook Live, rather than a gathering.

A drive-thru event is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. The 2021 theme, McGue said, is “Decades of Hope.”

“We’ve asked all the teams to use the word ‘hope’ in their decorations,” she said.

Along the route, there will be tent displays put together by 17 of the 31 registered teams — which include 172 participants in all — as well as tent displays for three of the community sponsors. There will also be a “Survivors Stop,” where cancer survivors are encouraged to come out to be celebrated.

With COVID-19-related gathering restrictions now lifted, she added, team members will be allowed to stand at their tent.

“We’re trying to make it so people can be part of the event,” McGue said.

The traditional luminaria ceremony will start at 9 p.m. Luminaries, which are used as a way to honor survivors as well as loved ones who have been lost, can be picked up at the entrance for $5.

“Originally, we were going to Facebook Live the luminaria ceremony,” McGue said. “But because they’ve lifted the COVID regulations, we’ll do both Facebook Live and in person.”

Details for the raffle, which will be done online this year, will be provided at the drive-thru entrance.

Although registration for the event has closed, people can still make donations at bit.ly/34Rh9Uh. As of Monday afternoon, Relay For Life of Franklin County had raised $56,573 toward its $75,000 goal.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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