Friday night students began the 12 hour walk for Relay for Life organized by the Relay Committee. The walking trail was around the front quad with inflatables, tents, and tables filling inside the circle. This is the 12th year that Roanoke College has hosted a Relay event and this year the event had a Disney theme.
Rebecca Siar who was one of the major organizers of the event said, “We start planning Relay in the beginning of the Fall Semester.Â There is so much that goes into planning the event that people do not realize! Our committee has been very hard at work to produce the best event for our campus!” It is easy to see why such extensive planning is needed- music, food, movies, a picture booth and various other activities such as inflatables and corn hole, were all activities at the event.
The committee has been growing consistently each year and they are always striving for new ways to keep the walkers motivated. Janey Peel, the president of the Relay Committee said, “I think my committee and I are really excited about the Red Bull Pong that is sponsored by CAB. It is the one event we have been trying to work into the event, due to the students’ requests, but we have never really been able to do it until now with the help from CAB.”
The opening ceremony started at 5:00 pm with members of the committee welcoming the participants. The RoaNotes then led everyone in the National Anthem. The Roanotes continued to provide music after the National Anthem, then Josh the DJ took over, followed by Mainstreet, Fourth and Coast and then Once Upon A Time finished up the live performances at 10:00.Â Music was playing consistently to keep people motivated.
The first lap of the walk was the survivor’s lab in which those who have survived cancer within the community walked with their caregivers and loved ones to show everyone the amazing people they were supporting. Another moment of honor was the lighting of the Luminaria lanterns which acted as a memorial to those who have died. Unfortunately the strong wind and rain forced that ceremony to be cut short. A few hours late, the Fight Back ceremony took place which reminded people that the goal is to fight against such a dangerous disease.
Janey Peel said, “I hope that everyone is encouraged to join the American Cancer Society in fighting back against cancer. Our motto this year for the event is “Finish the Fight!” Which I hope encourages everyone, not just walkers to join our fight in eliminating cancer, but to also celebrate the survivors.”
Cancer is something that has affected most people in some way and so the heartbreak caused by the disease is something which most people can personally connect with. Rebecca Siar said, “Relay For Life is open to students, faculty, staff, families, friends, and members of the community. Â It is an opportunity for everyone to come together to celebrate with those who have won their battleÂ against cancer, honor those who are fighting their battleÂ against cancer, andÂ remember those who have lost their battleÂ against cancer.”
The celebration for survivors, remembrance for those who lost their lives, and the determination to always fight back to overcome cancer are all pinnacles of a relay event. The RC Relay Committee and the RC Community as a whole took a stand against cancer by defiantly marching against this disease. Through this act they are able to raise awareness and funds to directly benefit the American Cancer Society and help in the fight to end cancer.