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Jefferson County Relay for Life monitors coronavirus, proceeding with plans

HELPING OTHERS — In this Feb. 19 photo, Jefferson County Relay for Life representatives Emily Russell, third from left, relay co-chair, and Nate Fellows, Steppin’ for Sisters’ team member, second from right, presented caring bags to the Tony Teramana Cancer Center. -- Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — As the COVID-19 coronavirus situation continues to be monitored, the Jefferson County Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society is hopeful its two summer fundraising events come to fruition.

In light of that, relay planners are turning to other ways to forge ahead, turning to social media, e-mail and phones instead of in-person meetings, which had been held monthly at Eastern Gateway Community College.

The most recent meeting was held March 10.

Tracy Barnhouse, American Cancer Society community development manager, provided an update to relay team captains and leadership team members in a recent Facebook post about future meetings and the June relay events.

The relay is scheduled to be held from 6 p.m. on June 19 to 6 a.m. June 20 at the Toronto Jr.-Sr. High School Clarke Hinkle Stadium. The theme is “Make All Holidays Cancer Free”

New to the summer fundraiser scheduled to benefit the ACS is the Touch A Truck Community Festival. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 13 in the rear parking lot of the Fort Steuben Mall.

“Obviously, the health and safety of everyone, especially our survivors, during this time is of the utmost importance to us,” Barnhouse wrote. “We are going to follow all federal, state and local recommendations during this time.

“The American Cancer Society will continue to be here for cancer patients and their families during this time. This will not keep us from our mission and from continuing the lifesaving work we do every day,” Barnhouse noted. “We are extremely grateful to all of the cancer survivors, volunteers and sponsors who have worked to make Jefferson County Relay For Life a success. Your efforts will make an impact on those fighting cancer.”

For information about the relay events, which any one is welcomed to participate in, Barnhouse can be contacted by phone at (740) 509-0196 or by e-mail to tracy.barnhouse@cancer.org.

“Teams can continue to fundraise online atwww.relayforlife.org/jeffersonohor on Facebook,” Barnhouse explained. “The Facebook fundraiser can be set up on your page from the website so donations will go straight to your team. If you need help setting this up, please reach out and I will be happy to assist you. If you are postponing fundraisers, please look at rescheduling them at a later date,” she advised. To date, Steppin’ for Sisters has canceled its April 5 quarter auction and Team Cooper, its bundle bingo scheduled for April 3.

“During this difficult time for our community and small businesses, try to support local restaurants and these other small businesses where you can and if you are able, Barnhouse encouraged. “Orders can be placed and picked up outside of the businesses during this shutdown. These businesses are amazing supporters of our event and any way we can give back to them will help now.”

Barnhouse noted she is working on a way to have monthly meetings by phone in the near future. “I will keep you up to date as this becomes available to us. We will continue to work and plan for the event so we will be ready for the events in June,” she continued.

“Thank you again to each of you for all of your support and hard work. We will come back from this and be stronger than ever. Take care of yourselves and your families,” she closed.

Emily Russell and Tom Simmons are serving as co-chairs of the relay that raises money for the ACS for education, advocacy, research and patient services.

“Cancer doesn’t stop because of COVID-19,” Barnhouse wrote. “We need your help to continue the fight against cancer. Donate your birthday to the American Cancer Society, because it’s critical our work continues.”

The relay website is www.relayforlife.org/jeffersoncountyoh. For ACS information, visit cancer.org. The cancer helpline number is (800) 227-2345.

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