NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Relay For Life, like all other large annual gatherings, has taken a very different shape this year. The event, originally planned for Saturday, June 13th at New Providence High School, had been postponed weeks ago and attendees were invited to “Relay From Home”.
In the weeks leading up to Saturday, June 13th, the Relay for Life volunteers advertised the “Light The Fight” Campaign. “We still wanted to do something,” explained Event Chair, Patti Broccoli. Donors were invited to join in on the remote Relay festivities by staying home and lighting up their yard with Relay For Life luminaria kits, sold for $20 each. 100 percent of the proceeds are being donated to the American Cancer Society.
“We had to find a way to incorporate something from a typical Relay to use for our remote Relay. We thought that the most memorable part, the luminaria ceremony, was the best way to commemorate a traditional Relay by lighting the luminaria bags at home,” said Briana Cagen, Student Co-chair. Luminarias are lit at the annual Relay for Life event to celebrate and honor each life touched by cancer. They can be dedicated to a loved one lost, someone currently battling, or anyone who has overcome the disease. After dark, Relay participants share an emotional moment when each Luminaria is lit in remembrance of a life touched by cancer.
Luminarias kits were sold and lit all around the community. In Berkeley Heights, luminaria displays that read, “hope” and “cure” were displayed at Snyder Field, a giant ribbon at Veterans Memorial Field and glowing bags lined the perimeter of Peppertown Park.