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Langley’s Relay for Life comes back after two years of virtual and solo events

Fundraisers are going on across the community right now
A pre-pandemic Relay for Life. This year will be the first year since 2019 that the event will resume as a group gathering. (Langley Advance files)

The annual Fraser Valley Relay for Life is back next month, and local teams are fundraising furiously in advance of the first in-person relay since the start of the pandemic.

The Gallery team, long one of the top fundraising teams in the local relay’s history, is hosting its clothing drive this Saturday, May 14.

“We do collect clothing year round,” said Kari Medos, top individual fundraiser for multiple years in a row.

Her spare room is crammed with clothing racks, and there are bags of clothing on her home’s deck, she said.

The drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the alley behind Macfarlane Insurance Agencies at 20440 Douglas Crescent in Langley City.

The clothing will either be sold at a community garage sale, via Medos’s Facebook Marketplace account, or be passed along to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

It’s expected to raise more than $1,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The annual Relay for Life is a fundraising event in which teams take it in turns to walk around a track.

This year’s will be held from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Willoughby Community Park on Saturday, June 11.

That’s a change in venue for longtime Langley relayers, who are used to the McLeod Athletic Park track.

“I think it’ll be great,” said Medos, who is looking forward to seeing what the relay will be like in the new location.

For the last two years, the relay has been an event that’s been more virtual than in-person, as individuals or small groups committed to doing their laps in community parks or on local streets.

Now they’ll be back together for the first time.

READ MORE: Langley’s Relay for Life plans for second year of going solo

The Relay for Life raises funds for the Canadian Cancer Society, for medical research as well as support for cancer patients and their families.

Among the events are a “survivors lap” that kicks off every year’s relay. Cancer survivors in bright yellow T-shirts take the first turn around the track.

Later, after dark, a luminary ceremony will see hundreds of decorated paper bags placed around the edge of the track, illuminated from within by candles or electric tea lights. The luminaries are dedicated to people who have been lost to cancer.

Teams and individual relayers can still sign up online through the Canadian Cancer Society’s website. People can also donate online or buy a luminary at the site on the day of the relay.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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