Story by Molly Longman
Drake University’s campus is draped in purple rather than blue this week to raise awareness for Drake’s Relay for Life. The event will take place at the Knapp Center on Friday at 6 p.m.
Relay for Life is a fundraising event held to assist communities across the globe in their fight against cancer. The money raised goes to the American Cancer Society.
The money raised helps fund groundbreaking research clinical trials for cancer treatments, cover the cost of providing information to those facing cancer, support volunteers who visit newly diagnosed patients and help cancer patients get to and from treatment.
There is a $10 registration fee to sign up for Relay for Life, and participants can choose to sign up as a team or walk as an individual. All participants are encouraged to raise money and collect donations for the American Cancer Society.
The event starts with an opening ceremony, and includes a survivors’ lap for those who have survived the battle against cancer and a caregivers’ lap for anyone who has cared for someone fighting cancer.
Other events include a Luminaria Ceremony to honor those who have lost their lives to cancer or who have or have had cancer, a Fight Back Ceremony that symbolizes the emotional commitment people make to the fight against cancer and a closing ceremony.
The theme of this year’s Relay for Life is Superheroes. Relay for Life specialist Caryline Clark said the theme was chosen to honor the real heroes who have battled cancer. Drake’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer, who helped organize the Relay event, urges teams to dress up as their favorite superhero. The team with the best superhero costume will receive a prize at the event.
Team participants in the Relay will be at the event from 6 p.m. on Friday night until 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, a total of 12 hours.
Relay for Life at Drake has been successful in the past, raising over $30,000 a year for the past two years. This year, the goal is to raise $35,000 and have 50 teams participate.
“We can’t do it without the participation of the students and community,” Clark said.
Drake’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer has planned a schedule of activities that include performances from The Brocal Chords, Fermata the Blue and the Treble Makers. There will also be three speakers who will share the stories of their journey in the battle against cancer, salsa lessons, Zumba, early morning yoga, a pancake breakfast and other games and activities.
“We have everything from a chainsaw juggler to yoga. The schedule is full of fun activities and there is something for everyone,” said Sierra Wooley, co-president of Colleges Against Cancer.
There will be prizes at the event including a free Noodles & Company dinner delivered to the top fundraising team, a Cancer Never Sleeps trophy handed out to the team that stays at the event the longest, and gift cards will be given out throughout the night.
Sign up to participate in Drake’s Relay for Life event this Thursday in the Helmick Commons at Drake from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., online or at the event on Friday.