Event is over yet; an online auction will take place Aug. 19-22
VANCOUVER — Volunteers for the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life of Clark County came together for a “Party in the Parking Lot — Tailgate event” at the Vancouver Mall on July 17. The event has raised funds for cancer research and patient services for the American Cancer Society for the past 35 years in Clark County.
“The start of the pandemic in 2020 tossed us, and really all non-profit events, for a big loop” said event co-lead Libby Mongue-Wymore. “Everything was put on hold and in a limbo phase. We came together last year and made the best of what we could with online and socially distanced events, but the chance to be able to connect in person was a big loss for our community of volunteers, caregivers, and survivors.
One year later and some adjustments with state COVID guidelines allowed the event to come together with a new “Tailgate party” version of the community event held at the Vancouver Mall upper parking lot.
“We were excited to partner with the Vancouver Mall,” said Lisa Houser, event co-lead. “The space was perfect for our Party in the Parking Lot and the opportunity to tailgate together and be able to see each other face to face for the first time in almost two years!”
The event kicked off with celebrating the community cancer survivors with a Hope Car Parade. Survivors were welcomed with cheering, cow bells and excitement as they paraded around the mall and back through the tailgate parking lot. Community businesses donated items to help put together swag bags for the cancer survivors to celebrate, and the committee served a light dinner to over 50 survivors after the parade.
The party continued after, with fundraising teams setting up spaces in the parking lot for fundraising, games, and streaming music with the help of KXRW. The Vancouver Mall put together a photo scavenger hunt, Los Pepe’s held a cash back dinner, Utopia Salon offered hair cutting for donations to wig programs and Able Bodied Center of Therapeutics Massage brought out their massage trailer, in addition to activities the fundraising teams hosted.
Later in the evening “Luminarias on the Lawn” took place. The white luminaria bags, each representing someone’s cancer story, were set up and displayed for people to walk through. “Being our first time trying a tailgate version of our event, we weren’t sure how it would go,” said Mandy Dunn, event co-lead “We were overwhelmed with the turnout of luminaria bags, so much so, that we had volunteers head out to buy more tea lights, clearing out the supply as the closest store even!”
The Relay for Life of Clark County isn’t over yet, an online auction will take place Aug. 19-22 with an additional opportunity to bring in funds for the American Cancer Society. Auction items can be viewed and bid on during this time frame at https://www.32auctions.com/2021HopefromHome
With the help of everyone’s hard work, the event has currently raised over $54,000 for the American Cancer Society.