BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Relay for Life recently announced a change in venue for the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the City of Buckhannon’s Consolidated Public Works Board meeting Thursday, event lead Daisy Hunt announced that Relay will be moved to the parking lot and the loop in front of Buckhannon-Upshur High School this year. The event was scheduled to be held at Jawbone Park.
“First of all, I would like to thank you for agreeing to let us use Jawbone Park again this year for our Relay for Life event,” Hunt said. “However, in light of the pandemic we are all in the midst of, we have decided it’s not in the best interest of the people who would take part in this event to hold a traditional Relay for Life with all the close contact and interaction that is involved.”
Instead, the plan is to have a drive-through event at the high school on July 18. More details will be announced closer to the date, but Hunt said Relay plans to have a survivors lap and a luminaria service. All the cars will also take the traditional lap in respect of cancer survivors and to remember those who have passed away.
“We truly hope that next year this pandemic will be behind us, and we can have our usual Relay in our usual manner at Jawbone Park,” Hunt said. “Until then, we will take things as they come and roll with the punches, as those of us who have survived cancer have already learned to do.”
She told the board to watch for more news on specific times as the event approaches.
“We are not going to let cancer win, and we’re not going to let COVID-19 stop us from fighting,” Hunt said. “Thank you and God Bless.”
Council member Pam Bucklew asked if Relay would still be selling luminarias.
“We have that in the newspapers to buy luminarias, and you can go online to the Upshur County Relay for Life web page and you can get luminarias through that also,” Hunt said.
Mayor David McCauley thanked Hunt and everyone working on Relay for Life and noted other changes brought on by the pandemic, including the cancelation of Festival Fridays for the season and school systems across the country evaluating if they can open in August.