If you love running, or food, or good music, or dancing, or a really good party or, above all, if you hate cancer, make sure to be a part of Western’s Relay for Life, a day-long celebration in pursuit of a cure.
As of print, over 50 teams will be participating on May 17. Participants from each team will switch off running or walking laps of the Western track over the 24 hour period.
Relay for Life centers around remembrance, celebration and the fight to end cancer. To celebrate those who have battled cancer the event will feature activities including Zumba, Quidditch and performances by live DJs. There will also be games, snacks and other activities.
To fight back against cancer, the event encourages participants to raise money. So far, Western’s teams and participants have raised nearly $30,000. One of the teams participating consists of members from Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity with 72 members on campus. Thus far, 18 have signed up to be part of the team, according to Amanda Marchak, the fraternity’s Service Committee Head.
Dane Austreng, the fraternity’s president, said that last year the team raised about $100. This year, they’re already over $1,000.
Austreng stressed that service is a major part of Alpha Kappa Psi’s mission.
“We want to get out into the community and help people… I hope we can go out there and continue to be this excited about it and get other people excited, too,” he said.
Marchak found that sense of community just by fundraising for Relay for Life outside of a local supermarket.
“It was actually really cool because when people were just passing by and donating, there were some survivors of cancer that came up,” Marchak said. “We are gaining community here from having Relay for Life at Western - even just being in front of Haggen, there are people saying, ‘It’s so cool that you guys are doing that.”’
The motivation for the team comes from connections to the fight against cancer. Marchak said that when she brought up the event at a chapter meeting, she asked how many people had family members or had known people that had battled cancer and nearly everyone in the room raised their hand. Marchak also has deep personal motivation to lead the team. She lost a cousin to cancer last year.
Along with all the fun, Relay for Life will also have its moments of remembrance. One lap will be silent with luminarias, candles lit inside paper bags, to represent loved ones lost.
Want to participate? Sign up and donation information can be found at: relayforlifeofwwu.org