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Despite COVID-19, cancer doesn’t rest
2020 Relay for Life still on, fundraisng continues
relay for life covid-19
Survivors take part in the 2019 Relay for Life of Barton County last June in the Panther Athletic Center at Great Bend High School. Despite COVID-19, this year’s event is still set for June, for now in downtown Great Bend.

For now, the 2020 Relay for Life of Barton County is a go, despite COVID-19. Organizers are hoping it doesn’t meet the same fate as they cancer-fighting event’s theme, the Olympics, canceled this summer due to the pandemic. 

“We are still planning on having it,” said Chairperson Kandi Wolf of what would be the 25th county relay. “But we have to play it by ear with the virus.”

The event is set to kick off with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. Friday, June 12, and conclude at 2 a.m. Saturday, June 13, in downtown Great Bend’s Jack Kilby Square. However, like all city facilities and parks, it is closed for now because of the novel coronavirus and social distancing mandates.

But, “we are still fundraising,” Wolf said. People can still purchase luminaries and contribute in other ways as well.

“Cancer doesn’t stop, even if we can’t hold the relay,” she said. The disease is ruthless, and thousands continue to get sick.

“Relay is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society,” she said. Money is still needed for detection, treatment and, eventually, a cure.

So far, 12 teams are signed up to participate, Wolf said. But, it is not too late to register.

The goal this year is $40,000.

Founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Washington in 1985, the Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe with more than 3,000 events. Symbolizing the battle waged around the clock by those facing cancer, the event can last up to 24 hours.

The Barton County Relay was started in 1995 and has since raised over $1 million.

For more information, to register a team or purchase a luminary, call Wolf at 620-797-5651.

Also, she said, survivors can register via phone by calling her or 620-603-6175.