Luminaria will shine in Greater Richmond this month; Donations support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission

September 3, 2020
kat simons

COVID-19 has grounded the American Cancer Society’s events and community organizing, slicing annual fundraising efforts in half. In lieu of large events and to ensure safety, the Society is seeking individuals to volunteer and sell luminaria to their family, friends and colleagues in the area.


The Greater Richmond communities including Goochland, Chesterfield, Powhatan and Charles City will all join together in September for a series of drive-thru luminaria ceremonies around the area. Volunteers will light these decorative keepsake bags to remember and to honor those who have faced cancer. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.


The following dates are planned:


Relay For Life is all about togetherness but the safety of cancer patients and survivors as well as volunteers and staff remains the highest priority. Luminaria ceremonies are traditionally held during annual Relay For Life events which were canceled due to COVID-19. These upcoming luminaria drive-thru events allow for participants to recapture the sense of community support while maintaining a safe distance.


“We are in danger of losing a generation of progress in scientific research and a generation of lifesaving cancer treatments if we don’t act now. The end of cancer begins with research, which is why it has always been vital to achieving our mission.” said Michele Couch, Virginia Area Director for the Society. “Research takes years to come to fruition. A cancer breakthrough begins perhaps 10-20 years earlier. If research is disrupted today, it means lives lost tomorrow.”


Here's how someone can help as a volunteer:

  • Purchase luminaria in honor or in memory of loved ones affected by cancer.
  • Pass out promotional and sale flyers along your street or neighborhood.
  • Set a fundraising goal: sell 20 luminaria averaging a $10 donation each = $200 per volunteer.
  • Collect donations and deliver luminaria bags to donors, encourage everyone to decorate them.
  • Turn in your donations and decorated bags to an American Cancer Society contact.


If you are interested in volunteering or purchasing luminaria, please visit, enter your zip code to find your local event and click on "Luminaria". You can also call the Society’s 24/7 hotline at 1-800-227-2345.


About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to