Radford University’s Relay for Life raises cancer awarness

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Audrianna Perkins
aperkins3@radford.edu

This weekends Relay for Life hosted by Radford University rose over $23,000 helping the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society has been raising money to fight cancer for over 100 years. Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society event saves more than 350 lives a day.
Relay for Life first got started on May 1985, when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington. He raised a total of $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society; the event eventually became Relay for Life and has raised more than $4 billion to fight cancer. Relay events now take place worldwide with around 5,200 communities and 20 countries participating in the event.
On April 12 at 6 p.m. Relay for Life took place at the Dedmon center. The event was a community event as young and old met to raise money for the fight against cancer. The track was surrounded by team campsites that were decorated for the event. A lot of Radford sororities and fraternities helped with the event. At 8:30 p.m. a group photo was taken of the all the Greek life helping participate in the event.
The event had a total of 45 teams, 563 participants, and they raised a total of $23,352.42. Kate Wampler, Executive Director of Radford University’s Relay for Life said, “The money goes to research and events the American Cancer Society does. So many people are being helped from a small event.”
The event had many fun activities and ceremonies. The ceremonies included the opening ceremony, the survivor lap, the luminaria, and the closing ceremony.
The opening ceremony began around 6 p.m. on April 12. This ceremony brought everyone together to start off the event, inspire hope, and celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. Relay for Life share their recent accomplishments and progress that they have made to help inspire those participating.
The survivor lap started at 6 p.m. Survivors and caregivers took the first lap around the track as they were encouraged by upbeat music. “We are the champions” by Queen played loudly as they celebrated their victory over cancer. Some survivors even held hands during this lap. The survivors and caregivers were also cheered on by other participants.
The stadium went completely black but was lit with luminaria’s representing people with cancer. The luminaria started at 9 p.m. Just as it started to get dark the dedmon center went completely black. Everyone stood next to the bag they wanted to represent, because the luminaria were dedicated in memory of someone touched by cancer. The white bags were filled with sand and lit by candlelight, many had names, photos, and even quotes in memory of someone. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” played as a speaker talked about the luminaria.
The closing ceremony began around 6 a.m. on April 13th. This ceremony was to remember lives lost to cancer and to celebrate that participants had made a difference.
The event had DJ’S, Bra pong, Zumba, corn hole, and even a tap dancing performance. Bra pong is like beer pong but instead of using solo cups you use bras. Some people even attended to support their friends. Joanne Maria said, “I attended the event to support my roommates’ boyfriend.” Participants could also get pizza or frozen yogurt at the event as well. The event was lively and fun as people celebrated the fight against cancer.
Overall the event raised money to help fight cancer and to help remember and support those fighting cancer. The next Relay for Life of Radford takes place May 3 6 p.m. at the Radford Recreation Center.