ESU’s Colleges Against Cancer will host their annual Relay for Life on Friday at 7 p.m. in Koehler Fieldhouse.
During the 12-hour event, members of the ESU community can walk around the track and enjoy a mechanical shark, a raffle for prize baskets and other fun activities.
According to their website, the Relay for Life is “the world’s largest, most impactful fundraising event to fight cancer.”
All proceeds from the event are donated to the American Cancer Society.
“Relay is important because creates a place for people who share experiences with cancer to all come together to remember our passed loved ones, raise money for others still fighting the battle and to help find a cure,” says Gabrielle Marcantoni, a member of Colleges Against Cancer.
So far, 500 individuals across 30 teams have signed up for this year’s Relay. According to Marcantoni, that is more than any past years.
Teams include 90.3 WESS, many fraternities and sororities, Active Minds, Student Senate, Campus Activities Board and the Rugby Football Club.
During the event, each team will have an activity at their table and one main activity for attendees to participate in.
Last year, activities ranged from pie-a-friend to giant jenga, and the larger activities included things such as ultimate Frisbee and flag football.
“We have already raised more this year than last year,” said Marcantoni. As of Tuesday night, they have raised $13,398.33 to donate to cancer research.
ESU’s Dance Team and Contemporary Dancers will both perform during the evening in between activities hosted by each team.
The event will also feature a lap dedicated to cancer survivors in attendance and another lap dedicated to caregivers.
Marcantoni is the head of the committee responsible for the Luminaria Ceremony. “The ceremony is the culminating event of Relay,” she says.
During the Luminaria Ceremony, the lights are lowered so that the room is lit by the glow of the luminaries lining the track with the names of individuals who have struggled with cancer, some still alive, and some dead.
The ceremony includes a lap of silence for those who have died of cancer and a lap accompanied by music for individuals still fighting.
This year’s Relay brings two new events to ESU. The first new event is Fill-a-Honda. During Relay, a Honda will be filled with cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products donated by participants.
The contents of the Honda will then be donated to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, a free housing resource for cancer patients who have to travel for treatment.
The other new feature at Relay this year is the Balloon Release Ceremony. During the ceremony, participants will release balloons in honor of people who have died of cancer.
“Preparation for Relay begins at the beginning of the academic year,” says Marcantoni, explaining the amount of work Colleges Against Cancer puts into the event.
The bulk of the fundraising takes place online in the months leading up to the event through team registration and sharing.
The chance to register as part of a team has lapsed, but anyone can still attend for $20 at the door.
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