Relay draws record numbers [SLIDESHOW]
The Recreation Center turned into a celebration for the lives of cancer survivors and a memorial for cancer victims on Friday and Saturday at Relay For Life.
For approximately 13 hours, 1,145 students, faculty and members of the community walked at the event. Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, the last relayers trickled off the track around 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
“At 6 a.m. the track was filled, music was going and people were so excited to be there even after the long night,” said Kelsey Funk, event co-chair.
As of Monday, students raised $126,433.45, beating the Relay For Life committee’s goal of $125,000 and last year’s total of $90,000. The committee is accepting donations until August 31.
The opening ceremonies started with cancer survivors Kathy Livingston and Joan Sommer as speakers, and a survivor lap followed as 42 survivors circled the Rec Center.
“The opening ceremonies was an emotional time for me because exactly one year ago my best friend’s mother passed away from a long battle with cancer,” sophomore Monique Dalphond said. “Being a part of this event made me feel like I was making a difference in the lives of those who are still fighting every day.”
After the opening ceremonies, students were served free dinner courtesy of the Residence Hall Council and took part in other activities like a Pie-in-the-Face fundraiser.
The Student Programming Board also sponsored a photo booth that was a popular attraction throughout the night.
“People enjoyed being able to take something home from the event,” Funk said.
QU After Dark, which won the award for the most successful fundraiser, sold fried Oreos and raised a total of $228 for the night. Other activities included a carnival, a dodgeball and basketball tournament, limbo and musical chairs.
There were few dry eyes among those walking around the track during the Luminaria Ceremony. A record 530 white paper luminaria bags lined the makeshift track in memory and honor of those affected by cancer—the most the committee has ever sold. The luminaria then led everyone outside to a glowing sign that read “HOPE.”
“It was a touching and eye-opening experience for someone like me who hasn’t been closely affected by cancer,” freshman Tess Pellicano said. “The support was inspiring.”