The American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Valley held a Relay Rally at Westfield Valencia Town Center Saturday afternoon to raise awareness about its annual Relay for Life of the Santa Clarita Valley event on Saturday, Oct. 2.
The group shared information about the relay, which will raise money to support the American Cancer Society, with approximately 200 people who were spending a part of their Saturday at the mall.
Rally volunteers also painted children’s faces, handed out goodie bags and cancer survivor T-shirts, and welcomed children to decorate shirts converted into “hope capes,” which they could then wear to “fly.”
Jen Minard, one of the event’s four co-chairs, said this year’s event will be different compared to prior years.
The relay track location, she said, would be on top of the parking structure next to Macy’s instead of the usual location of Central Park.
The relay is also being held in the fall instead of as a spring event.
Leslie Borgen, another of the event co-chairs, said event organizers are working on partnering with restaurants at the mall in place of the usual food trucks.
“We know that COVID has taken on a big portion of everybody’s life right now, but cancer doesn’t stop, so we’re not stopping,” she said.
Volunteers also sold luminaria bags, which, Minard said, are “displayed at our track and they can dedicate those in honor or in memory of someone in their life that had cancer.”
Decorated luminaria bags with LED lights help to shape the relay track.
“We’ve done this since 1999,” she said of the relay, noting that it started at Canyon High School. “Then we went to College of the Canyons for a couple of years and then we were at Central Park for a big bulk of it.”
It’s another year of adapting and pivoting after a challenging 2020.
“In 2020, when we realized we couldn’t have an in-person event, we switched and did a drive-thru luminaria event,” Minard said.
She said 75 cars passed through a drive-thru lined by 700 luminaria bags last year.
Currently, 50 teams are registered to participate in Relay for Life, though Minard anticipates more than 1,000 people to join on Oct. 2.
“We’re going to have a fun cardboard car show parade, in addition to actually having an actual car show,” she said.
To learn more about Relay for Life 2021, visit scvrelay.org or email [email protected].