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Sarah Beekman’s home glows in the night in honor of those affected by cancer (Photo contributed).

Relay for Life is usually a heartwarming event held every spring, when the local community comes together to celebrate those who have defeated cancer, honor loved ones who were lost to the disease and help contribute to the fight to find a cure. This year, however, the coronavirus derailed the annual day of celebration — and plenty of walking — which was meant to be held May 2 at the Denair High School Football stadium.

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Holly Evans purchased five luminarias to support Relay and show support to loved ones (Photo contributed).

To help fill the void, Relay for Life Turlock-Hilmar Chair Kristin Bettencourt and the Turlock High School Relay group spearheaded an effort to light up the town with luminarias, lanterns that are lit during a special ceremony at the event to honor lives lost to cancer. The group quickly sold as many luminarias to the community as possible, raising funds and providing participants with a way to “relay” through the glow of lanterns.

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Survivors and lost loved ones alike were honored by Julie LoForti’s display (Photo contributed)

“Several neighborhoods got on board and held social distancing walks and driveway gatherings,” Bettencourt said, commending THS relay co-captains Bailey Kindle and Ellie Colville, as well as team member Maddie Bettencourt, for their help. “As Chair of our local event, I was thrilled with the show of support and love from our community...our community is the very best!”

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THS Relay co-captain Bailey Kindle honored her nana, grandma and “grampy” with her luminarias (Photo contributed).