On Saturday, April 11, the Wheaton’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer held its annual Relay For Life fundraising event. While the club has not yet reached this year’s goal of $20,000, the event brought in donations and received good feedback from those who attended and walked the track.
Rebecca Smith ’17 and Kaitlyn Solano ’16 organized this year’s event to the theme of “Wheaton Heroes Break Records,” a mashup of superhero and world record themes. The event was held 5-12 a.m. and was packed with activities, including a survivor lap and dinner, hair donation event, scavenger hunt, Luminaria ceremony, and performances.
Many volunteers and members of the club contributed their time to ensure that the event ran smoothly. “Our committee this year was full of 23 hard-working and dedicated members, and one passionate American Cancer Society Staff Partner,” Solano said. “[They] each had their own role in the success of the event. We started planning and fundraising in September.”
Not only did students attend the event, but also members of the administration came, including President Hanno. In fact, Hanno’s relay team, “The Pride of the President,” consisted of 14 members and raised the most money with just over $2000.
“President Hanno had quite a crowd around as he tried to break records, and cheered on students as they broke their own,” Solano said.
Proceeds from the 15-dollar admission price for the event went to the American Cancer Society, which is the main purpose of Relay For Life. “[All] of the proceeds from all our events, including Relay For Life, go to the American Cancer Society for cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services,” Solano said.
Though the fundraising goal of $20,000 has not been met this year, the event was very popular and the event has raised upwards of $10,000 so far. “Unfortunately we didn’t have as many participants as last year, and did not meet our fundraising goal,” Solano said. “However, we received many compliments on our theme … many people took pictures with our superhero green screen.”
The event required some extra organizing this year, as the track was held in Balfour-Hood rather than the Haas Athletic Complex. “The biggest change we made this year was holding the event in Balfour instead of Haas. This presented some challenges, especially with having to walk up and down stairs as part of the track, but people didn’t seem to mind,” said Solano.
Despite the organizational struggles that it may have brought, the switch may have been for the better. “[We all] appreciated the vibe Balfour brought with all the different rooms to explore and the tight-knit feel,” Solano said. “This is definitely a change we’re going to consider for the future of Relay For Life at Wheaton.”
The Colleges Against Cancer club was thankful that other Wheaton clubs in the school were willing to lend their time, effort and support to the cause. “The collaboration with other groups on campus and their support is really important to our event as well,” Solano said. “We know we can always count on the Wheaton Cheerleaders to make a team and perform, [Voices United to Jam] to perform for the Luminaria Ceremony, the Music Co-Op to hold the Basement Benefit for Relay For Life, and all the other clubs and groups on campus who make teams. We couldn’t do it without them.”