Plans for the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center’s 20th anniversary celebration Walk for Life are ongoing. Originally scheduled for May 16, the annual fundraiser was put on hold when the coronavirus stopped the world in its tracks, but the committee overseeing this event has been meeting regularly, planning for a date in late September.
Foremost in our discussions has been how to keep participants safe. With this concern as the essential starting point, we have considered a variety of solutions—from an in-person walk to a virtual one—as well as which additional activities we could mount. In the past, those activities have included an opening ceremony, an indoor silent auction, food sales, kids’ activities such as a bounce house and mini-train rides, photo booth, facial scanning, seated massages and a barbeque.
In late June, as the situation was still changing and restrictions were being lifted in stages, and looking at an event date nearly 3 months in the future, we agreed to put off the largest decision—walking virtually or in person—until early August, at which time state regulations may be clearer about what is and what isn’t safe and allowable.
We have made other decisions, however. We will run the auction online as many other organizations have done (Healthy Acadia, Abbe Museum, Maine Lobstermen’s Association). We will not bring in the bounce house (the train has left the area), we will not invite vendors, and there will probably be no food sold—except for (hopefully) a lobster dinner that folks can buy and eat at socially-distanced tables in the parking lot outside the Addison town hall.
We hope to be able to offer the walk-in person, perhaps splitting up the group (if there are over 50 people—and we hope there are!) and arranging different starting points. We will require all participants to pre-register.
While it is discouraging that we cannot celebrate the 20th year of Beth’s Walk for Life in bang-up style, we hope that the hundreds of folks and survivors who have supported the effort she started before her death will continue to do so in a manner adapted for the unusual times in which we live.