All-night Relay For Life furthers the fight against cancer

On Fri., April 5, Wheaton held its tenth annual Relay For Life event, a relay sponsored by the American Cancer Society to raise money for cancer research and awareness, as well as to provide programs and support for cancer patients and their families. The event brings the Wheaton community together to raise money and collective awareness for a good cause.

Considering the tremendous amount of work and planning that goes into Relay For Life, the event requires the help of a larger group called Colleges Against Cancer. The Wheaton chapter of Colleges Against Cancer worked with a staff partner from the American Cancer Society to begin organizing Relay For Life in the fall and continued finalizing details throughout the spring semester. The to-do list included picking the date, recruiting participants to sign up, planning the entertainment schedule, ordering food and budgeting money.

But all this hard work paid off in the end, especially for the co-chairs of the Colleges Against Cancer club, who get to see their work come together to support the cause.

This year Jacquelyn Mailey ’13, Caitlin Hampton ’13 and Kirstie Parkinson ’13 all put in a lot of effort to make the night fun and engaging.

There were performances by the Swing Cats, Trybe, Dance Company, Voices United to Jam, the Wheatones and the cheerleading squad. Other activities included a talent show, minute-to-win-it competition and a frozen T-shirt competition.

Even the individual laps around the indoor track in Haas Athletic Center had different themes. There was a carnival animal lap, neon lap, toga lap and an LMFAO lap.

In all, 24 teams participated this year, totaling over 200 participants. Together they raised over $17,000, exceeding Wheaton’s goal.

Worldwide, Relay For Life raises over $400 million in more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries around the world.

This year, teams walked from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., totaling 11 hours, as opposed to what used to be an all-night walk.

A number of organizations lent their support to making this year’s Relay For Life a success. Aramark provided the food, which kept the walkers energized all night, while the group DJs of Boston donated 12 hours of their time to keep tunes playing all night long, inspiring people to keep up the pace.