On March 15th St. Thomas held their annual Relay for Life event in Sir James Dunn Hall. Relay for Life is an all-night event to raise money and awareness for cancer research. It’s also to celebrate the lives of those who have been touched by cancer.
This was fourth-year student Nathan Paton’s third year in charge of the event. Nathan said in his first year he participated as a team member. The coordinator at the time was a member of Nathan’s cross-country team, and asked him if he wanted to take over the leadership role for Relay for Life after he graduated.
“I like taking on the leader role for Relay for Life because I like making a difference,” said Nathan. “I don’t have a lot of money to contribute to donate to anything, I’m willing to do the volunteer work and the capacity to put into these hours so that’s how I can give back.”
Ten to 12 teams participated in this year’s event, with residence teams making up most of them.
“Last year we had a bigger turn out with teams because Professor Andrew Titus decided to make a team with several runners from around the city, and instead of walking around the courtyard they ran around Fredericton all night,” said Nathan. “That drew a bigger spectacle that night which drew more people in”
When asked if cancer affected him personally he said, “I think in everyone’s life, everyone has been affected by cancer. My uncle died of cancer several years ago, so that’s a connection on my part, but I think it really connects to people one way or another… we all understand it.”
Throughout the night, participants played games, watched movies and had a lot of snacks to keep everyone up and active for nine hours.
“The idea is to have some lively activities as they begin and then they kind of wind it down towards the night because everyone’s more tired,” said Nathan.
This year saw a turnout of over 120 students, which was probably the best turnout that they’ve ever had, says Nathan. Over $3000 was raised this year.
To raise even more money, Paton is holding a dodgeball tournament this Saturday for students.