Relay for Life events draw 288 participants

Jason Henry and Jason Henry

On Friday, Colleges Against Cancer kicked off its second annual Relay for Life event in the Perry Field House.

The goal of the event was to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. All of the money raised will go to the American Cancer Society.

‘Relay for Life is a ceremony where we celebrate, remember and fight back against cancer,’ said Sarah Fingerhut, student and co-chair of the event.

It was an 18-hour event where one member of each team is required to be on the track at all times.

‘It is basically to symbolize that cancer is a disease that never sleeps,’ Fingerhut said.

The event lasted from 6 p.m. on Friday until 12:00 p.m. on Saturday. Jen Kellermeyer, co-chair, said there were 20 teams registered and about 288 participants. The event offered open registration and participants could register either online or in person.

Each team is able to determine how they raise funds, she said. Some teams had bake sales while others had people pledge donations for a certain amount of laps or hours on the track.

Kellermeyer said last year they raised close to $25,000 dollars and that the goal for this year was to raise $30,000.

Fingerhut said $13,000 was raised at the event. Money will continue to be raised until the end of the fiscal year in August.

The American Cancer Society’s Web site said Relay for Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a surgeon in Washington, ran and walked around a track for 24 hours to raise money. Now, more than 3.5 million people each year participate, the Web site said.

Friday’s relay began with a Survivor Lap, where cancer survivors walked around the track. After the first lap, caretakers were asked to join the survivors.

Fingerhut said the event had activities, music and special themed laps. Some special laps for example were Crazy Hat, BG Spirit, Purple Power, and Red Light/Green Light.

‘It is an 18-hour party,’ she said.

Annie Bavaro, the team captain for Delta Gamma, said she got involved because of Sarah Kersey, who is one of the cancer survivors.

‘It is a good cause,’ she said.

She said Delta Gamma sold ‘I Love DG’ T-shirts to raise funds for the events.

‘We just like to get involved on campus as much as we can,’ she said.

Fingerhut said she hopes the event grows each year and more people get involved.

‘Cancer is a disease that affects all of us and Relay for Life is a great way to give to give back to a cause against something that takes so many away from us,’ Fingerhut said. ‘So join the fight. Cancer sucks.”