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Relay For Life

Relay for Life is an overnight, community fundraising walk that raises money for the American Cancer Society. Members of each team take turns walking around the track all night, while also enjoying food, games, and other entertaining events. Campus organizations set up booths around the track and sell food at their station while also offering an extra activity, from walking tacos to photo booth pictures.

Relay for Life started in May of 1985, when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington. Ultimately, Dr. Klatt raised $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern, cancer. A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event. Since taking those first steps, the Relay For Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.

Some things that make Relay for Life events special, are the survivor’s lap and the luminaria ceremony. The survivor’s lap is when all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer while being cheered on by the other participants who line the track. The luminaria ceremony is when people create and decorate bags for their loved ones who have fought a personal battle with cancer. During the ceremony, they light the bags up and dim the lights to reflect on those who have battled cancer.

To keep the participants entertained throughout the night, the Relay For Life committee puts on contests, such as pie throwing and water balloon tosses. One of the most anticipated events at Relay for Life is the Mr. Relay pageant. Each club has a male contestant come up to strut their stuff in a beauty pageant, then they are directed to run around the gym for a timed amount and retrieve donations. The contestant with the most donations, wins Mr. Relay.

Don’t forget to bring a pocket full of cash, because every year at Relay for Life, there is a silent auction. Each club involved puts together a silent auction basket and the participants are able to bid on the baskets. All the proceeds from the silent auction, Mr. Relay pageant, and sold goods go to the American Cancer Society.  

With the support of thousands of student volunteers, the American Cancer Society is helping save more than 400 lives a day. Join the fight with us on April 24, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Winona State University’s Relay for Life will take place in McGown Gym from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Winona State currently has 31 teams participating, 384 participants, and has raised $12,804.14.

For more information about Relay for life, check out the Winona State’s Relay for Life Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WSURFL?fref=ts&ref=br_tf.

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