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Relay for Life canceled

— The Relay for Life of the Lower Valley, scheduled for this Saturday on the high school track, has been canceled due to unhealthy air.

Joel Bouchey, community development manager for Tri-Cities American Cancer Society office, said organizers looked for an alternative, maybe indoors, but the availability was slim.

The Relay for Life had attracted 22 teams of walkers, Bouchey said. The pledges they raised will go on to the Cancer Society.

“We were less worried about the money,” Bouchey said. “Our concern was safety and health.”

That doesn’t mean the fundraiser is dead. Bouchey is hoping to find a date yet this year when it can be held. He said the teams should be rewarded for their effort.

As for the cancer survivors who would have been recognized, Bouchey is working on an alternative. Perhaps there could be a dinner at which the survivors would receive their Relay for Life shirts.

“We should be able to let the community know within a few weeks, what other arrangements will be made for the 2017 event,” he said.

This is the second year the 24-hour fund-raiser has been cancelled due to adverse weather. Last year the event was cut short due to an electrical storm and heavy rain.

The event usually draws several hundred supporters in addition to raising money for the American Cancer Society campaign.

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