Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life plans June 6 luminaria ceremony
WELLSBURG — Even though the event won’t be as it usually is, the Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life will still honor cancer survivors and remember those who lost their fight
But the public’s help is needed in this effort, according to organizers.
Because of safety guidelines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society will be a luminaria ceremony instead of the full-fledged relay, according to Tammy Hornick, event chair.
“This year, 2020, has given us many new obstacles. The coronavirus has changed our lives forever. Cancer has done the same for many of us,” noted Hornick in announcing revised plans. “This year, because of these changes, Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life is planning a luminaria ceremony only. The event will be held in the city of Wellsburg.”
Plans are for the event to be held on June 6, beginning at 10 p.m. “The luminarias will line Charles Street, from 10th Street to 18th Street. Everyone will remain in their cars and drive along the path. If you would like to make a luminaria, there will be representatives at the 18th street Central Park prior to 10 p.m.,” Hornick explained.
“Luminarias are to honor cancer survivors and to remember loved ones lost to this terrible disease,” added Hornick.
“We are asking a donation of what people could afford. Due to COVID-19, we know many want to support the relay but have limited funds,” Hornick noted. The best way to purchase a luminaria is to contact Hornick at (304) 737-3748 or mail the order with what people would like placed on the bag and make a check to the American Cancer Society. “Since we are doing the bags up, you mail the order to 543 Pontiac Road, Wellsburg, WV, or send a check to the American Cancer Society, c/o Brooke-Hancock Relay For Life, 122 S. High St., Morgantown, WV 26501,” she added.
“We are hoping to have at least 1,000 luminaria bags.”
Relay representatives will be at the Town Square in Wellsburg from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for those who would like to purchase a luminaria. “We will have markers so anyone can decorate their own bag or we can decorate them for you,” Hornick said. They also will be available for purchase the day of the ceremony itself — from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 6.
“My husband Paul and I decided we needed something to show the cancer survivors and caregivers support and that we are here for them,” Hornick said in explaining how the luminaria ceremony idea originated. “Then a friend, Della Serevicz, called not knowing what we were planning and had the same idea. So the three of us got together and planned the event along with the committee,” she continued.
In addition to Hornick, relay committee members include co-chairs Steve Lauck and Paul Hornick and Della Serevicz, Karen Fabianich, Donna Donohue, Susie Mullenbach and Kelly Fabianich.
“But we have an entire group of people who come together to make this all happen. It takes teamwork,” she commented.
The original plans were to hold the western-themed relay at Brooke High School with the opening, luminaria and closing ceremonies, according to Hornick, who has been involved with the relay since 2004, having lost her father and many family members to cancer.
“We have had inflatables for the children, many different games for adults and children’s games,” Hornick said of the relay that generally attracts participation from approximately 300 people.
“The relay began in 1997. The money raised has helped research; lodging for cancer patients and their families when having treatments away from home; gas cards; wigs; and programs such as a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year phone line that anyone can call about cancer information, about the type of cancer, the latest treatments and for support,” Hornick said. That number is (800) 227-2345.
“I would like to thank the community for their support all these years. It has made a difference in so many cancer patients’ and their families’ lives. Please, come and join the celebration of cancer survivors with Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life,” she said.