American Cancer Society in Illinois' Large Fundraising Events including Chicago's Largest Event of the Year, Discovery Ball, Will Pivot to Virtual Approach

ACS-IL Responds Quickly to President Trump's News Conference Declaring National Emergency

CHICAGO, March 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- President Trump declared a national emergency today and, with more than 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker said yesterday afternoon that all events over 1,000 people should be cancelled immediately. All community events with 250 attendees or more should also either be canceled or postponed.

In light of recent events, the American Cancer Society in Illinois is taking prompt action to #ContinueMission and keep their patients, caregivers, volunteers and staff, healthy.

"As a public health organization, the Society is committed to the well-being of all communities, specifically cancer patients, survivors and their care-givers who are central to our mission," said Michael Ziener, Executive Director. "As such we will continue our mission and have made the decision to pivot our live annual Discovery Ball event on April 18th to a virtual approach."

Ziener and his community response team affirmed the prompt decision as part of the Society's commitment to the safety of their event's attendees, staff, and volunteers particularly those with compromised immune systems and currently battling cancer. In addition to the Discovery Ball's new online approach this year, Ziener said that ACS-IL will be suspending all in-person events through March 31. Once the COVID-19 threat has subsided, his team will work with the state's volunteers and communities to reschedule them. Among these March events, the Society's ResearcHERS breakfast at the Chicago Symphony Center will also be reassessed. Further recommendations regarding signature events such as Relay For Life are being updated or moved in real time. More updates will be announced through our social channels.

"Above all, we stand by our friends and families who have been affected by this virus," said Ziener. "The effects are, indeed, impacting our communities across the state. With courage, determination, and some innovation, we will continue mission by supporting our cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, and researchers through digital experiences and other virtual fundraising opportunities. Cancer doesn't stop, and our battle against this disease has not changed. That's why we must continue our mission."

The American Cancer Society's mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. To learn more, visit

Contact: James Haenes, 312.960.2327,

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SOURCE American Cancer Society in Illinois

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