Relay for Life holds eighth period kickoff event to prepare for cancer fundraising


Lilia Qian

Relay for Life sophomores Manu Onteeru, Monica Saraf, Medha Gupta, and Pranav Wadhwa work on cards to send to cancer patients with the American Cancer Society at the Relay for Life Kickoff Event. The event took place on Nov. 15 during eighth period.

Lilia Qian, Staff Writer

On Wednesday Nov. 15 the Relay for Life club held its first major event during eighth period. Relay for Life is a club dedicated to raising money toward cancer research. Each year, the club prepares for a final overnight fundraising event in which Relay for Life team members walk around the track and participate in raffle drawings and a campout. These community-based fundraising events take place at Relay for Life clubs around the country partnered with the American Cancer Society.

The kickoff event was held to introduce and get students involved in Relay for Life. Activities to prepare for the fundraising event included banner-making, ribbon-making, card-making, taking photos, creating relay teams and luminaria decorating. Cards will be sent to cancer patients under the care of the American Cancer Society.

“Ever since my mother’s diagnosis with stage four breast cancer in April of 2016, I’ve taken a large interest in organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life,” sophomore E.J. Bach said. “The activities I enjoyed the most during the kickoff was the banner painting and photo, since I got to express my support toward my mother by using pink paint for breast cancer awareness and saying that I ‘relay for my mom.’”

Kickoff participants decorated luminaria in preparation for the luminaria ceremony of the end-of-year event. Luminaria are paper bags with candles inside meant to honor those who have combatted cancer.

“The most memorable part [of the relay event is] the luminaria ceremony. Each paper bag honors someone in our community who has battled or is still battling cancer,” junior and committee co-chair Neha Damaraju said. “It’s a truly humbling experience walking that track and seeing how many people have been affected – not just the patients but all of their loved ones as well.”

Relay for Life events provide opportunities to work with the community to raise awareness for cancer as well as raise money. Each year, they aim higher than the previous year.

“Being a part of TJ’s Relay for Life helps me spread awareness about cancer, and allows me to have hope that a cure for all cancers will be found in the near future,” Bach said. “This year, I am hoping to get more of my friends to join Relay for Life and raise awareness. Also, I would love to surpass my goal of raising more money than I did last year.”