Relay for Life to Commence Full-Scale Tonight after Two-Year In-Person Hiatus
According to event chair for the Relay for Life Azuree Williams, it takes over 100 volunteers to successfully run the event, which is to return to full-scale today and tomorrow ( May 13 and 14).
Because Relay for Life Bermuda has not been held in person for the last two years, Ms. Williams says that planning this year’s relay was like starting from scratch.
“ Even though it is a lot of work, everyone involved is excited to be back in person,” she said. This year’s relay theme is “ the sun is shining, the weather is sweet.” Ms. Williams finds this
theme appropriate since May is Melanoma Awareness Month.
The opening ceremony will commence at 6 this evening and will feature a live performance and opening speeches.
“ We will be celebrating survivors at around 6:30, and they will be taking the relay’s first lap, with their caregivers meeting them halfway on the track and completing the lap with them,” Ms.
This year’s hero of hope Nigel Richardson, will be leading off the survivors and their families
during the first lap.
The Liberty-Mutual Bermuda team parade, where all the teams gather together, will be at 6:45 and the track lights at the National Stadium’s north field will be turned off at 9 p.m. The track will only be lit by sacks filled with candles and sand.
“ There will be an entire lap of silence, which is very reflective, reverent and emotional for some people, but it is still a beautiful experience, looking at the track only lit by luminaria bags, decorated by family members or volunteers,” Ms. Williams said.
Not every moment of the event will be somber and reflective, however; a dance party featuring the three kings band is scheduled for 11:30 pm.
As opposed to the standard 24 hours, the relay will only be 18 hours this year and closing ceremonies will be from 12 to 12:30 pm tomorrow (May 14).
The event is still open for anyone to attend and people will receive full access to the event for only $10 at the gate. The $10 will go towards the equal access fund; 97 percent of which will stay in Bermuda. Three percent of the fund will go towards the American Cancer Society, who Bermuda Relay for Life is global partners with.
“ The equal access fund allows people who are uninsured or underinsured to be able to have treatment at the Bermuda Cancer & Health Center,” Ms Williams said. “ There are many global
initiatives going on, from South America to Africa. It’s an amazing part that our small island plays in such a bigger picture, we;re helping both our local and global communities.”
Participants are not mandated to follow any COVID guidelines, but it is advised that teams test for the virus before the event and to stay home if they feel at all sick.
“ We’ve encouraged people to make sure they have hand sanitizer in their respective tents and we recommend anyone who is considered vulnerable to wear masks if they intend to be with
other people in the campsite,” Ms. Williams said. “ We want participants to be comfortable, but we also want them to use their best judgment.
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