Participants in last year's Relay for Life event - PICTURE: CLIVE WASSON
Patron of Relay for Life Donegal, Daniel O’Donnell has called on the people of the county to light a candle and place it in their front window to help commemorate those who have lost their lives to cancer and the coronavirus.
This weekend, in place of the annual outdoor event at the LYIT campus, a virtual Relay will take place via the workings of the organisation’s Facebook page.
The Relay for Life committee had taken the decision to cancel this year’s event some weeks ago following consultation with the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, where it is staged on an annual basis, and with the Irish Cancer Society.
Donegal Chairperson, Robert O’Connor said he knew that all Relayers would back the decision which was necessary due to the ongoing health issues surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
But while there may not be a physical staging of the event in 2020, the wonders of technology mean there will be a virtual Relaying this weekend.
One of the most emotionally charged hours of the Relay for Life event is the Luminaria service or Candle of Hope ceremony.
This year will see a virtual ceremony for which the moving commentary has been scripted by Donal Kavanagh who will also narrate the proceedings on the night.
And those who access the Relay for Life Donegal Facebook page on Saturday at 10pm to watch and listen to the event, will also be asked to place a lit candle in a window of their homes to help remember those who have succumbed to cancer and the survivors and carers.
Patron of Relay for Donegal, Daniel O’Donnell, who co-wrote along with fellow performer, Marc Roberts, what has become the anthem of the local event, ‘I’ll See This Journey Through’, has been featuring on the Relay Facebook Page highlighting the importance of the Relay movement and how it has made such a difference year after year in respect of fund-raising and research.
“I encourage you to light a candle and put it in your window,” he appeals. Remembering in the process, he adds, those who have died as a result of cancer and those who have lost their lives due to the coronavirus.
On Sunday morning the normal Relay for Life would feature the Gospel Hour and Ecumenical Service on Highland Radio. This year the Relay Facebook page will reprise the equivalent from 2017 complete with readings, personal experiences, and the voices and instruments of local musical talent commencing at 9am.
“You are never alone when you are part of the great Relay for Life Donegal family,” chairperson O’Connor declares.
And even in the midst of the current pandemic, there is still that opportunity to continue to be part of it.
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