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Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life to hold drive-up vigil

NOT FORGOTTEN — Tammy Hornick, standing, co-chairman for the Brooke-Hancock American Cancer Society Relay for Life; Della Serevicz, seated left; and Robin Snyder have been accepting sponsorships for luminaria to be lighted in a June 5 drive-up event being held in lieu of the annual walk. The luminaria in honor of anyone who has battled cancer for a donation of the donor’s choice. Those interested may visit them and other volunteers on the Wellsburg Town Square between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Monday. -- Warren Scott

WELLSBURG — While the pandemic has affected plans for many community events during the last year, it’s not stopped cancer from entering, and in some cases taking, the lives of many people.

Concerns about public gatherings resulted in the Brooke-Hancock American Cancer Society Relay for Life being canceled last year, but volunteers behind the annual walk couldn’t let the year pass without acknowledging the many whose lives have been touched by the disease.

And they again will hold a drive-up vigil, incorporating the luminaria for which the walk is known, at 10 p.m. June 5.

Vehicles will line up at Sixth and Charles streets and make their way, along the luminaria-lined street, to Central Park. Once there, they may listen from their vehicles to music provided by disc jockeys Music Done Knicely and a brief talk by a cancer survivor or person knowledgeable about the disease.

Everyone is invited to honor or remember a loved one who has battled cancer by sponsoring bagged, lighted candles that will line the street. The cost is a donation of the donor’s choice, with proceeds going to cancer research, education and patient assistance programs supported by the American Cancer Society.

To sponsor a luminaria, stop by the Wellsburg Town Square between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Monday or send a check payable to the American Cancer Society to Tammy and Paul Hornick, the event’s co-chairs, at 543 Pontiac Road, Wellsburg, WV 26070.

Sponsors may decorate the paper bags themselves or ask the volunteers to label them with their loved ones’ names.

Hornick said ACS officials have advised local relays may be held later in the year. But she said many residents have come to expect the event in June, so she and others decided to again adopt the drive-up approach that was a surprise success last year.

Planned just two weeks before it was held last June, the procession involved about 30 vehicles, including local police and fire departments, that passed about 2,000 luminaria along Charles Street.

Hornick said the event didn’t raise as much as the annual walk, which also is accompanied by many fundraisers leading up to it, but served an important role in remembering those who fight the battle against cancer.

She said as COVID-19 cases decline, she and other volunteers in Brooke and Hancock counties hope to make up for lost time in supporting the American Cancer Society and the many it aids.

“We’re hoping to start doing fundraising for next year,” Hornick said.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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