Relay For Life begins with early bird event

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In preparation for the Relay For Life event in April, the committee held an early bird event on Monday in the K-State Student Union that offered information about signing up a team to participate.

“Tonight’s event is targeted at people who are super involved, those who want to raise the most funds and get the info out as early as possible,” said event co-chair Mollie Stephens, junior in hotel and restaurant management.

The Relay For Life event is held over the course of an entire night with the purpose of raising money for the American Cancer Society. Those involved walk and run laps around a track, as well as participate in various activities, such as games and raffles designed to fundraise.

It features three ceremonies throughout the night, an opening, a closing and a luminary ceremony. The luminary ceremony is held in the middle of the event. All of the stadium lights are turned off, and luminaries are lined up to spell out the word “hope.” As the night goes on, the luminaries change from “hope” to “cure.”

“It’s symbolic for the darkest hour for cancer patients when they keep fighting,” said event co-chair Maggie Stephens, graduate student in community development.

The location of the event is to be determined, but the event chairs hope to hold it at Memorial Stadium, as that is where it has been in the past. However, construction of the Welcome Center could deter these plans and move the event to CiCo Park.

In addition to the event, Relay For Life fundraisers will be held at Chili’s on Nov. 8 and Orange Leaf on Nov. 26, where a percentage of the profits go toward the cause.

“I’m a cancer survivor, so it directly affects me,” said survivor committee co-chair Jonathan Stepp, senior in journalism.

Co-chair and fellow cancer survivor Talus McCowan, senior in psychology, said he became involved in the event to help raise awareness. 

During the relay, there are luminaries circling the track to represent cancer survivors and those lost to cancer.

“The amazing thing is that everyone is affected by cancer, if not now, then at sometime in their life,” Stepp said.

Teams for the event are encouraged to have at least eight members, but there is no minimum number. However, individuals are allowed to show up and register as participants, without being a part of a team. Each team must have a captain, who will pass on information to the rest of the team members and spearhead fundraising for the team. The first team captain meeting is Nov. 5 in room 226 of the Union at 8 p.m.

The Relay For Life event will start at 6 p.m. on April 12 and go until 6
a.m. on April 13. The theme of this year’s event is “fighting, ever fighting” to relate to K-State’s 150th anniversary.

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