Students fight cancer

By Jamie Reese

Asst. Editor-in-Chief

Relay for Life returns to Kohler Fieldhouse on Friday, April 4.

This event aims to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The event starts at 7 PM and ends at 7 AM on Saturday morning. Seventeen teams are signed up for Relay.

The theme this year is “Hollywood,” and Kohler will be decorated accordingly.

Teams will win “Oscars” for various categories measuring how much the team contributed to Relay.

Every team will choose a celebrity that had cancer, and provide information on that specific cancer.

Spirit points have likewise been calculated up until Relay. Spirit points are awarded for various reasons, such as meeting fundraising goals.

The team with the greatest number of spirit points wins a trophy.

The team holds on to the trophy until the next Relay.

The guest speakers this year will be Melanie Tone and Rick Franzo.

Tone was the speaker at last year’s event.

Tone is breast cancer survivor currently fighting breast cancer again.

Franzo is the convenience store supervisor for Barnes and Noble College here at ESU. Franzo is a brain tumor survivor who recently published a book called, “How Horseshoes Saved My Life: A Tale of Two Brain Tumors.”

After the speakers present, survivors will lead a victory lap and the event officially begins.

Teams are asked at this point to have one team member walk the track at all times.

Running is optional and most people do not run.

Teams will also be dismissed at this time, and be allowed to participate in multiple activities.

According to Jessyca Ligh, Logistics Chair for the event, those activities will include a dunk tank, a volleyball game and old time photos.

Each team was asked to prepare an activity to fill a half hour timeslot.

They were also asked for a raffle basket and fundraiser to entertain and raise funds at the event.

CAB’s Concert Chair and deejays from WESS 90.3 teaming up to provide music for the event.

Later during the night luminarias, or ceremonial candles in luminaria bags, will be set along the track to pay tribute to victims of cancer.

Luminarias can be set up for a donation in a cancer victim’s name.

After the luminarias are lit, there will be a Fight Back ceremony, which according to symbolizes the emotional commitment each of us can make in the fight against cancer.

Participants pledge to take action in the fight against cancer.

Those people interested in participating in Relay have until Thursday evening to sign up online.

Otherwise, people can sign up individually or with a team at the door.

There is a $10 donation requested at signup.

Participants should eat before they arrive, because food will be limited.

Snacks will be available for purchase, and it is okay to bring food from outside.

As of Tuesday, this year’s Relay has raised over $5,000. The goal for this year is to raise a little under $20,000.

ACS raises about one billion dollars each year.

Relay events account for about two fifths of this amount.

They use these funds for causes including education on cancer and research for a cure.

Relay does not merely function as a means to raise money.

It also allows for members of the community to come together, and it helps support survivors and family of those lost to cancer.

Relay provides hope for those affected by cancer.

The event is usually community organized, and occurs in over 5,000 communities, and 20 countries.

The American Cancer Society claims to be the “Official Sponsor of Birthdays,” because of the work they do to save lives.

If you too would like to be a sponsor of birthdays, you can sign up for ESU’s Relay for Life at

Email Jamie at: