On October 10 at the Simi Valley Town Center, Relay For Life, a community-based fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, held a drive through luminarium. This drive-through was a social distance event that took place from 8-10 p.m. Cars drove through a small loop of bags lit up with glow sticks in the town centers parking lot. All the bags were decorated by someone in the community, as all ages were invited to design and color a bag in remembrance of those who were lost to cancer, or for hope for those who are pushing through it.
A lot was different this year compared to prior years as a result of Covid-19. Relay for life events like these would usually span a full 24 hours with multiple ceremonies, one of which includes the luminarium, which would normally be a walk-through event. Trish Kuehl, a volunteer for Relay For Life for 21 years, said, “Cancer never sleeps, so these 24-hour events represent how even though cancer never stops, we will never stop fighting to find a cure and help those who are affected.” Even with the virus drastically affecting The American Cancer Society, The turn out was more than expected by the volunteers. There were over 200 bag lights bought and many cars who came and drove through the route.
The money from the bags that were bought goes to all types of cancer for research, rehab, and other programs within The American Cancer Society. Although there were fewer sponsors this year due to the virus, the Nonprofit was incredibly grateful for all of the donations and the support from people in the community. So far, they have raised 50,000 dollars this year through the luminarium as well as their 24 hour walk that was held a week later. Sophomore Sabrina Popick said, “Going through the luminarium was really cool. It was nice to see how much love and support is going out to those who have survived cancer as well as those who have passed because of it.”