Wise decision on Relay

Published 9:52 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The weather forecast doesn’t look favorable for any outdoor events this week, and that’s a shame for one event in particular.

Relay for Life is an event that many people look forward to all year. They raise funds, plan their team activities, purchase luminaria bags to honor and memorialize loved ones who have fought cancer, and more.

The main purpose of Relay for Life, of course, is to raise money for the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer. While that’s a noble cause, event safety has to be No. 1 on the priority list. Nobody will take any joy in money raised at an event where someone was seriously injured.

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It seems the Relay for Life of Suffolk committee did indeed make safety its top priority when it made the call on Wednesday to postpone the event. In a sometimes-tearful Facebook Live video on the Relay for Life of Suffolk page Wednesday, event lead Dana DeFreeuw said the committee had not taken the decision lightly but wanted the event to be a success and doubted it could be so with the weather forecast.

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service forecast showers and thunderstorms possible in Suffolk all day and night Thursday and Friday, making conditions hazardous not only during the event but also during setup, when dozens of volunteers will be at the site and in need of a safe environment.

Besides safety, another consideration is that holding an event on a very wet football field would damage the field that the Nansemond River High School athletics department works very hard all year long to maintain. Leaving behind a damaged field would not be respectful to the hosts.

The committee is working with the school to find out when it can reschedule Relay.

We anticipate the event will be just as excellent as originally planned when it happens on the new date, and we encourage everyone to support it.