This year’s Relay for Life was held on April 14. The event successfully reached its fundraising goal of $27,000. Organizers Megan Russell, of Belle Vernon, Pa., and Jade Wronowski, of Barto, Pa., discuss the yearlong process of planning Relay for Life.
Q: What events were held for this year’s Relay for Life?
A: There’s three main ceremonies that we have: the opening ceremony, where we have a survivor come in and talk; We have the survivor ceremony, where we have another survivor come in and talk, and then the luminaria ceremony where people donate money, and they get a bag and we put glow sticks in them. They can design the bag and we line the track with them. We do that at night so it’s a nice walk, and we have a slideshow with pictures of people and their loved ones that either have or have had cancer.
Teams have fundraisers going on throughout the day so there’s a bunch of food and games and auctions going on. We also have different specialty laps. We have a gender-bender lap and an “anything but clothes” lap. We’re doing a Harry Potter lap this year. The theme is “top countdown,” so each team is choosing a different band and a song to represent that band. Whichever team is in the lead will have their song playing.
Q: What was the process of planning Relay for Life like?
A: We start in November and we choose a committee. Everyone who volunteers gets to help out. We had Concert for a Cure in January. It got people thinking about Relay; we signed up a few teams and raised some money. We did a team recruitment day in Baker. Once we get the teams, team development starts working with them in order to help plan their fundraisers. Some teams do fundraisers before the event; some do it the day of the event. Survivors talk to the different teams about being a virtual survivor and walking in honor or in memory of someone since they can’t be there. This year we had 23 people on the committee, and there are 27 teams. It’s a big team effort.
Q: How much money has been raised so far?
A: The goal is $27,000. We are on target to get that this weekend. The money goes to the American Cancer Society, towards research and helping families that are financially strapped because of taking care of a loved one that has cancer.
Q: What are some of the ways that teams have been raising money?
A: Dance Ensemble went around and vacuumed people’s rooms for a dollar. We worked with the men’s volleyball team to work a night at one of their games. We had five different teams that set up a table there. One of them was selling cake-pops, another one had a bake sale, another one did raffles. One team had people guess how many Skittles were in a jar and then whoever was closest got the jar of Skittles. They were outside Ellis for a week. There was a Clifton Five movie night. One girl designs painted glasses and sells them. Some were doing beaded lanyards. One team held a coffee house.
Q: What do you think is the value of Relay for Life?
A: Awareness. Last year I compiled pictures of people who said who they were relaying for. “I Relay for my mom,” or “I relay for my cousin.” I had a hundred people who sent those to me. Almost everyone is affected by cancer. I think it’s great that we can come together and be a support system so that people aren’t alone.
Kelsey Molseed ‘14
Campus Opinions Student Reporter