For founder Gillian Larson, canceling the upcoming 10th annual Reality Rally in Temecula due to the spread of the coronavirus was a tough decision.
“Yesterday I spoke with our board and we just decided there’s no way we can keep waiting to let people know and we just needed to cancel,” she said on Wednesday, March 18. “if there was some strange possibility that the virus had gone away and everybody was back to normal, it’s hard to pull an event finally together within a week. Secondly, I don’t feel it would have been a good thing for us to encourage people to come to a busy, crowded event and also to spend money buying tickets if they did. Everybody’s going to be strapped.
“So many people are losing their jobs and their income — restaurants, et cetera — so I thought there’s no reason to keep waiting. So, now we just have to look forward to next year.”
The event, scheduled for May 14-16 is dubbed “Fun for Funds” and is a three-day fun event filled weekend to raise funds for Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center.
Larson, who appeared on the CBS hit television show “Survivor” came up with the idea for the fundraiser that includes an “Amazing Race” event that has participants running through the streets of Old Town Temecula to complete tasks.
Dozens of reality television show stars come to Temecula to participate in the event each year with the public.
Over the past 9 years, Reality Rally has raised more than a half-million dollars for the nonprofit.
“The donations will stay with Michelle’s Place because they’ve already been coming through since November,” Larson said. “Who knows what the amount is that we will not make this year. But the fundraising amounts that have been done so far, and I think it’s also lower than usual, for several reasons and because people backed off starting to even sign up several weeks ago in the coronavirus thing started hitting.”
Larson said as disappointing as it is to have to cancel the event after doing all the work to put it together and now taking it apart this year, she isn’t too upset.
“I don’t worry about stuff,” she said. “To me, this is what happens in life.”
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at email@example.com.