Relay for Life to raise funds for cancer research this weekend

Adithi Iyengar, Staff Reporter

This year’s Relay for Life event will be held from this weekend at the Coach Bill Sudeck Track in the North Residential Village. The festivities will kick off at noon on Saturday and continue through 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Relay for Life is a community-based fundraising event of the American Cancer Society that takes place overnight. It is one of the largest fundraising events to exist in the world, occurring not only in communities in the United States, but also in a multitude of other countries.

Last year’s event raised over $60,000 and this year’s goal is $67,325.

The Relay for Life team at Case Western Reserve University has spent months putting together and preparing everything they need for the event.

According to Undergraduate Relay for Life Co-Chair Shruthi Srinivas, the planning committee for this event has been hard at work since last September.

Srinivas and her Co-Chair Alissa Prior have been working on this since last June.

“The most rewarding part of this year has been watching all the pieces come together,” said Srinivas.

Entertainment Co-Chair and junior Alan Burke talked about how fun and rewarding participating in the event will be. He and his Co-Chair Nick Pilla, a senior, are responsible for coordinating and organizing a schedule for all the different groups that will perform during the event. The event offers entertainment, food, activities and a family-friendly environment for everyone to participate in.

The three main purposes of the event are to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, to remember those that people have lost to cancer and to fundraise and fight back with hopes of finding a cure.

All the money that is raised from the event will go to funding cancer research and cancer support programs.

One of the most important aspects of the event is the ceremonies. These include the Survivor Lap, the Luminaria and the Fight Back Ceremony. Luminaria, which is one of the event’s most popular ceremonies, is when all Relay for Life participants remember those they have lost to cancer. Candles are lit and put in personalized bags and placed around the track. For Srinivas, this is a way of remembering her grandmother, who passed away in her freshman year of high school.