Relay For Life of Cullman County hosting virtual luminaria ceremony May 14 

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Participants in the 2016 Relay For Life Survivors Lap pose for a photo. (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Relay For Life of Cullman County event that would have taken place today, Friday, May 1, will not be rescheduled for this year. However, the local committee has opted to hold a virtual luminaria ceremony Thursday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. on the Relay For Life of Cullman County Facebook page (@RFLCullmanAL).

“The luminaria ceremony is so special, and although it will be different, we are going to do a virtual luminaria ceremony since we can’t have the real thing this year,” said Tess Kimbrough, who oversees the luminaria ceremony. An image of each bag purchased by donors will be shown in a video during the virtual luminaria ceremony.

The suggested donation for the bags has been discounted to $5 and can be made in memory or in honor of a loved one affected by cancer and to caregivers. Luminaries can be dedicated by going to www.relayforlife.org/cullmanal and clicking on the Dedicate a Luminaria link. Donations can go toward the overall event or to a specific team or team member.

The deadline to purchase a luminaria for the virtual ceremony is Tuesday, May 12. All luminaria purchased for the ceremony will also be displayed at the 2021 event, which should be held on Friday, May 7, 2021.

“We understand times are harder and very different right now, so any support you may give will be much appreciated,” Kimbrough said. “Thanks for all you do in the fight against cancer and please continue to stay safe and healthy!”

Kimbrough expressed her thanks to Coca-Cola Bottling of Cullman for their continued support of the luminaria ceremony as the program’s sponsor.

Relay For Life teams are encouraged to continue raising funds for the American Cancer Society, which has been deeply impacted by a drop in fundraising due to the pandemic. Relay For Life events are a large part of the organization’s fundraising efforts and most all the events scheduled for 2020 have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

The American Cancer Society funds research, education, prevention and patient support services. Throughout the pandemic, ACS Hope Lodges, including the Joe L. Griffin Hope Lodge in Birmingham, have been opened to health care professionals needing lodging while working on the front lines of the pandemic.

For more information about the American Cancer Society and its services, visit www.cancer.org or call the 24-hour toll-free hotline at 800-227-2345.