Relay for Life, Dog Walk cancelled in favour of virtual events

WELLINGTON COUNTY – When it comes to aiding charities, county residents have walked the walk for decades, but this year organizers of two popular events are asking them to take their fundraising efforts online.

The Wellington County Relay for Life, benefitting the  Canadian Cancer Society, and the Fergus Walk for Dog Guides, benefitting the Lions Foundation of Canada, were both cancelled earlier this week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And both have come up with virtual events to allow participants to support the causes online while also adhering to physical distancing requirements.

Relay for Life

The Wellington County Relay for Life, to take place at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area, has been cancelled.

Instead, participants are encouraged to join the Relay At Home event on June 13 from 7 to 9pm, which is billed by organizers as a “re-imagined virtual event that you can enjoy from the comfort of home.”

“When Wellington County residents signed up to participate in Relay For Life in our community this year, they showed their support for friends, family, neighbours and colleagues who have been affected by cancer,” states a letter from Karen Griffiths, senior manager of the Canadian Cancer Society of Waterloo-Wellington.

“That’s why we wanted to remind you that during COVID-19, you can still help us prove that community is bigger than cancer.

“While we may not be able to come together in-person to celebrate right now, there is so much we can do virtually to support people living with cancer.”

Officials say the June 13 event will feature interactive activities and time to “celebrate survivors “and remember those we’ve lost.”

“Cancer isn’t taking a break during this global health pandemic, and neither are we,” stated Griffiths

Funds raised through Relay At Home will go towards the Canadian Cancer Society’s vital services that support the one million Canadians currently living with cancer.

To register visit

Walk for Dog Guides

Instead of a real Fergus fundraising walk for dog guides, Pet Valu will be holding a virtual walk this year.

The walk will take place on May 31 in a physically distant manner.

Organizers are encouraging participants to “walk around the block, lift some weights, run on your treadmill, dance in your living, jump on your trampoline, or anything physically active, all while remaining physically distanced.”

Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott visits with Carol Martin and dogs at the 2019 Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides at the Fergus sportsplex. This year’s event is going online. Advertiser file photo

Every dollar raised will support Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides and its mission to assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them guide dogs at no cost.

“We can’t go door-to- door with pledge sheets as Covid-19 has stopped all that; but the puppies being raised are growing and have to be fed and cared for,” stated Ben Collings, co-chair of the Fergus and Marsville Lions Clubs Walk for Dog Guides.

“Most puppies are now back with their Foster Families around the area and the expenses of operating continue.”

Thanks to sponsors, 100 per cent of the funds raised go directly toward the raising, training and placement of guide dogs for Canadians with medical or physical disabilities.

The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is a national fundraising walk held annually in some 300 communities. Each walk is organized by local volunteers.

Visit the Pet Valu Virtual Walk for Dog Guides website to register or donate.