For the second year in a row, the Fraser Valley Relay for Life will raise money for cancer research virtually, instead of in person.
The Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser is set for June 12, and will feature some virtual events as well as encouraging teams and solo fundraisers to get out and relay, even if they have to do it in their own neighbourhood.
Kari Medos, currently the top fundraiser for the local relay, is planning to get her team together in person for a distanced get-together.
This will be the second year in a row that COVID-19 has forced the Canadian Cancer Society’s fundraiser to go virtual, so Medos’s team, dubbed Gallery, will have to find its own venue to walk in support of cancer patients, survivors, and lost loved ones.
“We find a park or a school ground,” Medos said.
That will replace the location for the past several years of Relay events, which were held at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park.
Dozens of teams would set up tents and canopies around the edge of the track, and team members would take it in turns to walk through the event. Mass walks for yellow-shirt-wearing cancer survivors, and after dusk during a remembrance of those lost to cancer also took place.
Meanwhile, the center of the track was a hub of games, music, and activities.
They mask up and keep their distance, but they also try to keep the spirit of the Relay going, despite the fact that it hasn’t been held in person since 2019.
“It was different, but we made it fun,” Medos said of last year’s virtual Relay.
They’ll do their own relay for a few hours, just as they did last year.
“We still dress up, we still look like Wonder Woman,” said Medos, who has been a volunteer, organizer, and frequent top fundraiser for the annual charity event over the years.
Her fundraising has cemented her status as a Relay for Life superhero.
As of this week, the Gallery team was just $500 shy of its goal of $22,000, and Medos was responsible for about half of that.
The team is also holding a contactless clothing and blanket drive on May 29 at 21779 52A Ave. or at 14439 91B Ave. in Surrey, with drop off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The team is seeking gently used, clean clothes, shoes, belts, boots, bags, purses, socks, gloves, even table clothes, pillows, and curtains.
Medos is happy with the fundraising her team is doing, despite the limits of physical distancing, but she is looking forward to 2022 and hopefully a return to an in-person Relay for Life.
“Seeing all the teams is wonderful,” she said.
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