BERKELEY – The increasing numbers of COVID-19 in Ocean County has caused the American Cancer Society to cancel the September 25 event, organizers said.
Even though the fundraiser is outside, and social distancing is possible, the event brings together cancer survivors who would be high-risk patients if they got the coronavirus. There are also sometimes caregivers in attendance who might be exposed and bring it back to their patients.
According to Ocean County Health Department statistics, there were more than 150 new cases a day in recent weeks. There has been a steady increase from earlier in the summer, when there were fewer than 50 new cases a day. This is still lower than the peak of the pandemic in winter of 2020 when there were 400 or more new cases a day. The department has re-opened its vaccination center at Toms River High School North and opened a new one in Manchester to meet this challenge.
“Because of the recent upswing in COVID, the American Cancer Society who has been monitoring our area, notified us that we have been brought back into the ‘RED’ meaning the numbers are once again climbing,” said Robyn Paciulli-Griffith, one of the event’s planners. “As our event not only raises money in the battle against cancer but honors both Survivors and Warriors and those who have passed, we (the ELT Event Planning Committee) thought it best to safeguard the health of those who already have a weakened/compromised immune systems. Though this is sad, we must keep the welfare of all who may attend in our sights.”
The event was scheduled for September 25 at Veterans Park in Berkeley, but the new date will likely be in June of 2022.
Even if they can’t get together, they can still work toward the cause. Donations can still be made by contacting Paciulli-Griffith at 848-333-7318 or email@example.com.
“Our hope is that we will be able to resume our full Relay next year. Please accept our sincere apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause anyone and to let you know that those who have made a donation so far – your moneys have already been sent on to the American Cancer Society to benefit our MANY patient programs,” she said. “The team wishes to thank everyone as we prepare to gear up for next season. We hope to see you ALL in 2022.”