Relay for Life kicks off this Friday

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By Ceillie Keane

Relay for Life, an event organized by Union’s division of Colleges Against Cancer, will take place in the Field House this Friday, April 20, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Co-president of Colleges Against Cancer Stacey Berger ‘13 said that the late night walking shows that “cancer never sleeps, so why should we?”

Berger explains that participants register with a team made up of “friends, family or an organization,” and fundraise before the event.

The funds are donated to the American Cancer Society, and sponsor cancer research, education for cancer awareness and prevention and a hotline in place for those diagnosed with cancer to call anytime. “The day of the event,” Berger says, “you have one person from your team walking around the track the whole night,” usually organized in relay shifts.

Because “every Relay for Life is different,” Berger expanded on how Union’s Colleges Against Cancer has “put [their] own spin on it.”

Throughout the night, there will be a variety of performances and activities. For this night, individuals, organizations and groups on campus will help with the Relay for Life event. Nayan Patel ‘12 and Evan Morris ‘14 will take turns as DJs throughout the night. The Dutch Pipers, Garnet Minstrelles, and the Eliphalets will sing, and members of U-Break will dance.

Activities will include Sigma Delta Tau’s “Make a Card for a Cancer Patient” activity, Gamma Phi Beta’s cookie decorating table, Wells House’s purple nail-painting station and the Physics Club’s ice cream experiment table.

Kappa Alpha will be sponsoring a velcro wall, Student Forum is sponsoring bouncy boxing, and Innovations Hair Salon is going to be putting in purple hair extensions for $10 (proceeds go to Relay For Life).

Along with these activities and performances, there will be ceremonies to—per Relay for Life mantra—celebrate, remember and fight back against cancer. During the traditional luminaria ceremony white bags are sold, decorated and lit with a candle to commemorate or encourage those affected by cancer.

This year, Maggie Weinreb ‘13 has organized a glow stick ceremony to accompany this. Everyone at Relay for Life will be given an unbroken, unlit glow stick. After this, Weinreb will read prompts instructing those that have been affected by cancer in different ways, whether it be a parent, grandparent or friend, to break and light their glow stick.

Weinreb expects “after six prompts” that “everyone’s glow stick will be lit.”

For Weinreb, this ceremony, which she did at her high school’s Relay for Life events, is particularly moving. “I found [the glow stick ceremony] so powerful, since my mom is a cancer survivor. It was nice to see how many other people around are just as closely affected by cancer.”

The glow stick ceremony, as well as the other ceremonies and events throughout the night, will help to, as Berger explains, “celebrate those who have survived, remember those who we have lost and,” by raising awareness and donations, “fight back against the awful disease.”

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