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June 28, 2022

Relay for Life events raise money and spirits

By ELLIE PENATI | April 25, 2013

Relay For Life hosted its annual event this past Friday. The 564 registered participants and the Hopkins community raised a total of $50,000 for the Relay For Life event, a $10,000 decrease from last year’s event. These donations will go to funding cancer research and patient support programs.

The 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. event was held in the Recreation Center rather than the usual location of Keyser Quad due to inclement weather. Participants, student organizations and cancer survivors joined together for the cause of raising funds for the American Cancer Society.

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s principal fundraiser. Colleges and communities worldwide host the event.

The Hope Lodge is one support program in particular that is supported by Relay For Life fundraising. The Hope Lodge is a free place for cancer patients and their caregivers to live if their treatment centers are distant from home.

There were 62 total teams, including many teams representing various Greek organizations such as Beta Theta Pi, Phi Delta Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Phi Mu. Several student organizations also had teams as well.

Some teams hosted booths selling items such as baked goods and games in order to raise additional funds throughout the night to add to their team’s total.

The event was split into three ceremonies: the Celebrate Ceremony, Remember Ceremony and the ‘Fight Back’ Ceremony.

The Celebrate Ceremony opened the event and focused on the cancer survivors in attendance.

Dr. Claire Snyder, a cancer researcher who works at the Johns Hopkins Hospital spoke about the foundation. She emphasized the importance of the Relay For Life event in raising funds for the American Cancer Society. Her research is a recipient of the event’s fundraising efforts.

The Celebrate Ceremony concluded with a celebration of the survivors. They were applauded and honored as the survivors took a lap around the track in solidarity.

Further into the night, the second ceremony occurred. The Remember Ceremony consisted of the Luminaria presentation.

The Luminaria part of the event was a time for honoring and praising loved ones who battled or are currently battling cancer. Everyone in attendance held glow sticks in honor of the people they partook in Relay For Life for.

The participants then took a walk around the track together and gazed at the illuminated Luminaria lanterns arranged into the word ‘Hope’ below. A slideshow with the names honored on the lanterns and music played simultaneously.

“We talked to a few people today, and they overwhelmingly said that the Luminaria Ceremony was their favorite part of Relay and always is. It brings everyone together and acknowledges that we are all there because cancer has affected us in some way,” junior Rose Schrott, co-chair for the event, wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “It allows us to step back from the bake sales and performances and remember what we are relaying for and how important the event truly is.”

The event also featured the performances of various student organizations such as the Mental Notes, Vivaz dance group, Entertainers Club and the Sirens.

Furthermore, the event included the Miss Relay Pageant, in which guys from various teams dressed up in women’s clothing and partook in a beauty pageant. The pageant consisted of a question and answer, biography and talent portion.

After their comedic performances the ‘ladies’ had to scramble around and get as many donations as possible. The one who received the most money was crowned the winner.

The ‘Fight Back’ Ceremony encouraged attendees to reflect on the money raised, and the survivors. Ultimately the closing ceremony urged the importance of staying committed to the fight against cancer.

The Relay For Life event concluded with a final walk around the track. Those who stayed for the entirety of the occasion took an additional lap together as well.

This final lap wrapped up the ‘Fight Back’ Ceremony.

“I chose to partake in relay to show support for my friends who have been affected by the consequences of cancer. Although I cried at the more serious portions of the relay, I definitely walked away more positive and appreciative of what I have and what relay does,” sophomore attendee Sarah Azody said.

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