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Students stand up to cancer

Written by Jessica Ingram

 

VSU students will soon have an opportunity to fight for a cause.

 

VSU’s annual Relay for Life will take place on the front lawn from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday.

 

Opening ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m., and will recognize both cancer survivors and the teams that will participate.

 

Relay for Life is an event held by the American Cancer Society to raise funds to help cancer research. This will be the 7th year that VSU has held the event.

 

According to the Relay For Life website, more than 500 campuses across the country host Relay for Life events with 300,000 college students taking part in the event.

 

It began after Dr. Gordy Klatt raised $27,000 walking and running around a track in Tacoma, Wash.

 

Over time, the event has become a “worldwide phenomenon,” raising more than $4 billion.

 

Relay for Life events take place in more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries.

 

This year, VSU has 47 teams raising money and participating in the event. However, individuals not on a team can purchase a luminaria for $5 and recognize a loved one that is a cancer survivor, currently fighting or lost their lives to cancer.

 

One or more members from each team will take turns walking throughout the event; each team should have at least one person walking at all times.

 

“If students are not on a team, the best way to get involved is to come out to the event,” Wright said. “Each team will have a fundraiser at their tent so students can walk around and participate in the fundraising.”

 

Wright also said that if students are not able to attend the event they can go to the VSU Relay for Life website and donate.

 

During the event, the luminaria ceremony is considered to be one of the most important. During this time the track is lit up from the candles in each of the personalized luminaria bags that have been dedicated to someone.

 

The luminaria ceremony will be held around 9:30 p.m.

 

“This is very powerful and demonstrates the impact cancer has on our community,” Wright said.

 

According to the Relay for Life website, “During the Luminaria Ceremony, we remember people lost to cancer, and honor people who have fought or are fighting cancer.”

 

So far the teams have raised over $17,000. The monetary goal for this year’s event is $48,847.

 

Wright encourages people to remember that “cancer never sleeps.”

 

“People are fighting for their lives,” Wright said.  “The least we can do is stay up and raise money through Relay.”

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