Last year, Alma College’s annual Relay for Life event raised more money per student for cancer research than any other school in Michigan, a feat the college hopes to do again.
This year’s Disney-themed Relay for Life will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 22nd and conclude at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 23rd. Students, faculty and community members who are interested in participating can choose from more than 30 teams to join. Teams can be joined or created at Alma’s official Relay for Life web page.
Those interested in supporting Relay for Life also can participate in various fundraisers that teams will be holding during the event. On-location fundraisers include crafting and baking, among others.
The goal of Relay for Life is to raise money for cancer research and cancer patient programs. Relay for Life is the most highly recognized fundraising event of the American Cancer Society. Proceeds go toward treatments for those who cannot afford them and funding for research projects.
Wilmington, Del., junior Alex Sprague became involved in Relay for Life after his cousin passed away from cancer. This coming year he will participate in his sixth Relay for Life event, and he says he will continue to be involved until a cure for cancer is found.
“The goal of Relay for Life is for no one to ever again hear the words ‘you have cancer,’” he says. “It is a worldwide fight to end cancer once and for all.”
There are several ceremonies that take place throughout the event.
The “fight back ceremony” will feature Micky Johnston, who will speak about how to fight back against cancer through healthy living initiatives and by joining causes such as Relay for Life that fund cancer research.
The “survivor ceremony” will take place at 4 p.m. with a talk by cancer survivor Jenny Mosier, followed by survivors walking a lap to be honored. The “luminaria ceremony” at 8 p.m. will honor those who have lost their fight to cancer.
“I take the greatest pride in watching my community unite during the luminaria ceremony,” says Blanchard junior Karol Chubb. “It is an emotional ceremony, and it’s great to see students, parents, faculty and those on campus for the event be so supportive of each other.”
Last year’s event exceeded the set goal of $26,000, raising a total of $31,228 for Relay for Life. This year Alma College’s goal has been raised to $32,000.
Students aren’t the only people on campus involved in this cause. Faculty and staff also participate by having their own team and on-site fundraiser, in addition to holding a pre-event fundraiser bake sale among faculty and staff members.
White Lake senior Allison Fields says Alma College keeps the ultimate goal of curing cancer in mind while planning for Relay for Life.
“Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, shape or form,” she says. “Relay for Life is a way to give back while also working toward a world where cancer can be eradicated.”