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story.lead_photo.caption Cancer survivors begin their lap around the Moniteau County Fairgrounds track June 14, 2019, at the Moniteau County Relay for Life. Photo by Liz Morales / California Democrat.

Though the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will cause some differences from the norm, Relay For Life is returning closer to its usual format after a more subdued edition in 2020.

Moniteau County Relay For Life will be raising funds for cancer patients in Jamestown 6-10 p.m. June 11. This time around, some in-person elements are returning as organizers ask for the local community to come out and show their support for those affected by cancer.

According to Relay For Life spokesperson Kara Korte, the event raises money for the American Cancer Society to find a cure. Korte said through the extensive research and services offered by the ACS, cancer patients are afforded treatment and other resources they need while they are sick.

"At the Relay For Life, people will be able to have dinner, enjoy the celebration by watching a parade through town, and then remember those who have been affected by the disease by watching the drive-thru Luminaria slide show," Korte said. "We are unsure of what the turnout will be, but hope that Moniteau County will come out and celebrate with us, even if Relay looks different this year."

Korte said when preparing for this year's relay, organizers in the community were uncertain how many people might feel comfortable in crowds due to the pandemic. While the active case count in Moniteau County has maintained a steady low for a while, Korte said remaining mindful of everyone's health and well-being is still important since her organization is honoring cancer survivors.

Traditionally, the event would be held either at the football field in Tipton or the Moniteau County Fairgrounds; however, Korte said the venue for this year's relay has been changed to the Jamestown Community Building parking lot and the Jamestown School parking lot in order to accommodate social distancing.

Although the event itself will be smaller than it has been in previous years, Korte said she assures there will still be many activities to participate in. A drive-thru meal is on tap at the Jamestown Community Building's parking lot starting at 6 p.m. June 11 — patrons can have their choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger or hot dog with chips and a drink for a $5 donation. Then, Relay For Life will parade through Jamestown starting around 6:30 p.m. At 9 p.m., the events for the day will close with a drive-thru Luminaria reflection at Jamestown School's parking lot.

And, Korte said, Relay For Life won't just be limited to the day of the event.

"Many teams will still be actively fundraising throughout the rest of the year, and we encourage the community to support them," Korte said.

Part of the fun will take place prior to June 11. Korte and her team are asking area businesses and homes to again decorate for Relay For Life's "Paint the Town Purple Week" from June 7-11. She said if anyone cannot participate in the relay, the community can show its support through this vibrant event.

"Cancer patients still need our support, and we still want to honor those who have passed," Korte said. "These are the reasons that we do this year after year."

Korte said the Relay For Life committee is doing the best it can to engage the community in helping the fight against cancer. With that in mind, she said the committee is thankful to work with Moniteau County due to the abundant support from citizens over the years.

"Moniteau County is made up of some of the most giving people and we are thankful for the support we receive," Korte said. "We are always looking for participants or teams, so if anyone wants to get involved, it's not too late to join this year or plan to join us next year."

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