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Relay for Life takes on drive-by format

ALPENA, Mich.– The Alpena Relay for Life took a very different form Saturday night.

In order to maintain social distancing, the cancer research fundraiser took on the form of a drive-by luminaria ceremony. The luminaria is composed of multiple decorated bags, memorializing local loved ones who survived or lost to cancer. Normally, these bags light the way for the relay’s nighttime runners, but tonight they lined a drive-by route in the parking lot of the Alpena mall. Participants could watch a memorial slide show from their cars and donate at the end of the drive-by.

Event leader Annie Hepburn said that funding cancer research is as important as ever.

“Our goal is $91,000 and we are really fighting to beat that goal this year. In spite of the pandemic, we all know that cancer does not stop. So we, as a team, are not stopping either.”

The Northeast Michigan branch of the American Cancer Society, which runs the Relay for Life, has raised $46,000 this year.