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Relay for Life brings students, community together

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Elizabethtown chapter.


Stay up all night and walk towards a brighter tomorrow.

Join Elizabethtown College students, faculty and community members in remembering lives lost to cancer, and commit to creating a cancer-free world.

From 3 p.m. Friday, March 23 to 3 a.m. Saturday, March 24 in Thompson Gymnasium, E-town hosts Relay for Life. This annual on-campus event raises money for the American Cancer Society, as well as awareness about cancer’s impact. Relay for Life features food, music, games and stories from survivors and others affected by cancer.

In anticipation of March 23, take some time to meet the student organizers, members of Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) and the Relay for Life committee:

Karlie Kimball (Senior Occupational Therapy Major, President of CAC)

Kimball believes cancer touches everyone in one way or another. She recalls her sixth grade locker neighbor, Ricky, experiencing a slow decline due to brain cancer. Specifically, she remembers how emotional she felt when Ricky stopped coming to school and, eventually, passed away.

“I’m passionate about Relay so that another little sixth grade boy with brain cancer doesn’t have to get his wings like Ricky did,” Kimball said.

The senior encourages students to attend because of the powerful, unique experience Relay for Life provides.

“Relay for Life is an opportunity for all of the different sports teams, clubs, majors, minors, friend groups, etc. to all get together and give back,” Kimball said. “Everyone can put aside their differences and do something that matters.”

“I feel that Relay for Life is truly an opportunity to grow closer with one another because we all have something to bond over, the desire to rid the world of cancer.”

Michaela Jenkins (Sophomore Studio Art Major, Chair of Publicity)

Jenkins’ role with Relay for Life predominantly involves publicity. She posts on the group’s Facebook page, advertises alongside the Office of Student Activities and creates and distributes mailbox stuffers.

The sophomore feels a personal connection to Relay for Life, as her grandmother has been declared cancer-free after several years of battling breast cancer. Her interest in raising awareness and funds to fight cancer doesn’t just tie back to her past—Jenkins’ dream job is to work as a pediatric art therapist for children with cancer.

Jenkins believes Relay for Life allows participants to feel helpful in the fight against cancer. She also advertised ways for students to get involved, including purchasing a Luminaria to be displayed at the event in honor of someone affected by cancer.

“This event is a great way to share your stories about your friends and families whose lives have been impacted by cancer in one way or another.”

Jules Kalish (Junior Social Work and Religious Studies Double-major, Chair of Development)

Kalish is the Chair of Development for CAC and Relay for Life. In that role, she assists committees in planning the event, gathering supplies and resources and inviting and honoring survivors.

“This event is not just bound to our CAC group but is accessible and promoted to our college campus and the greater area,” Kalish said. “The more people involved to fight back and recognize survivors and lost loved ones means more progress for the American Cancer Society.”

When Kalish graduated from high school, her mother was diagnosed with Stage Three Breast Cancer. The junior emphasized how helpful the American Cancer Society was in supplying the family with support and resources. Help also came from another source—an on-campus club.

“When I came to E-town, Colleges Against Cancer really helped me feel like I could make a difference and support not just my mom’s story but so many others as well,” Kalish said.

Kalish said she hopes students participate not just in Relay for Life, but in other cancer awareness events held on campus throughout the year. She cited the Feel Your Boobies-Bras Across Campus event in October as another wonderful way for students to get involved, as well as joining CAC.

“To stand next to fellow advocates, survivors, and caregivers and honor their fight is an [immeasurable] moment of gratitude, passion, and hope. Elizabethtown College is built upon service and Relay for Life is an incredible opportunity to really experience that.”

How to help

If you would like to participate, you can sign up online at www.relay.org/paetowncollege. The cost for attending is $15, and you can stay for as long or short as you want between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Questions? Contact CAC at cac@etown.edu for more information about the event and how you can help.

Rebecca Easton

Elizabethtown '19

Rebecca Easton is a senior at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She is currently studying English with a concentration in professional writing, and is pursuing a double minor in communications and business administration. Her primary interests in these fields include social media marketing, web writing and creative writing. She currently works for the Elizabethtown College Center for Student Success as a writing tutor, for Admissions as a tour guide and for the Office of Marketing and Communications. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys writing, singing, and reading.
Kristen Wade

Elizabethtown '19

Kristen Wade is a senior Communications major with a concentration in PR and a minor in Graphic Design at Elizabethtown College. Kristen loves hiking, shopping, and baking. After graduation, Kristen hopes to work in digital marketing.