East County’s Relay For Life group is working to arrange another socially distanced event at the end of this month with an in-person “Drive Thru Party.” For the second year in a row, the local organization has had to become creative with ideas to make their goal of raising $100,000, but the group feels they’re up to the task.
“The resilience and determination that the volunteers and sponsors have shown during this difficult time has been so inspiring,” said event co-leader Jamie Rackley. “I cannot even begin to express how excited I am to be able to see everyone in person during our drive-through event and then continue the fun online.”
In anticipation of the June 26 drive-through event, the group has already raised more than half of their goal at over $56,000. Active fundraisers have raised the money with help from event sponsors. The “Drive Thru Party” is one way that everyone can come out and show their support for Relay For Life, said Rackley’s event co-leader Tina Hannon. The public is invited to drive through and show support for cancer survivors, cancer fighters, their families and the community.
The Relay For Life of the Delta committee represents all of East County. Hannon said that Purposebuilt of Oakley is graciously sponsoring the drive-through event and has opened its parking lot at 1530 Neroly Road in Oakley from 10 a.m. to noon June 26. The event will then return to the virtual format similar to what the group provided last year to follow from 1 to 9 p.m.
“We hope to raise awareness in our community about Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society (ACS),” Hannon said. “It’s our hope to connect those in need of cancer resources to the host of free resources available through ACS made possible by the Relay fundraising efforts.”
Hannon said that it’s been a tough year for fundraising but that Relay supporters have continued pushing on to show that cancer continues to need the community’s focus and fundraising. Despite the relaxed rules on social distancing, Hannon said that participants at the drive-through event would remain in their vehicles while driving through interactive stops. Everyone will be asked to wear a mask and maintain social distance.
The committee has photo opportunities, music, goodies for participants, decorations and more planned for the event. The theme of this year’s event is Mardi Gras in honor of the New Orleans tradition, which had to be canceled for the first time since it started due to COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year.
Before the June 26 events, the committee has set up a June 18-25 silent auction from which 100% of the proceeds will go to the Relay For Life of the Delta. More information on the auction can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/DeltaSilentAuction. The virtual component of the event invites the community to attend the annual Relay ceremonies that recognize cancer survivors and honor those lost to cancer. The ceremony also commits to fighting back against cancer in hopes of living in a cancer-free world.
Hannon said they will also host family games, challenges, spirit laps, craft corners and more via the virtual event, which will also be on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/RelayForLifeDelta. More information on Relay for Life of the Delta and event schedules and how to donate can be found at bayareane.ws/35eNapQ.
Antioch carnival: Although the Contra Costa County Fair has been canceled this year due to COVID-19, there will be a carnival June 17-20 at the Antioch fairgrounds. Butler Amusements will offer rides, games and fair-style food during carnival hours, which will be 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Wristbands for unlimited rides are $30, good on the day of purchase from opening till closing only. Individual ride tickets are $1 each, and rides require three to five tickets, depending on each ride. Children must be at least 36 inches tall for carnival rides.
Roni Gehlke can be reached at [email protected]