Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Community to celebrate, remember and fight back at 'Relay for Life'

By Becca Sandager
News Editor

Saint Mary’s University will host its fourth annual Relay for Life event from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Friday, March 18 to Saturday, March 19 in the Gostomski Fieldhouse.

Organized by SMU’s Colleges Against Cancer, Relay for Life is a 12-hour walk to raise cancer awareness, celebrate people who have battled or are battling cancer, remember those lost to cancer and fight back against the disease. Teams comprised of students, faculty and staff will join together to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and will spend the night walking around SMU’s indoor track to represent the 24-hour fight that is cancer.

“Most people know someone who is affected by cancer,” said Kristina Empanger, co-president of Colleges Against Cancer and Relay committee co-chair. “People should recognize how severe this disease is.”

This year’s Relay theme, based on the American Cancer Society’s slogan, is “Imagine a World with More Birthdays. I’m Making it Happen.” Activities planned throughout the night center around birthday-party themed games such as musical chairs, a piñata and pin the tail on the donkey. The night will also feature performances by a student band and the SMU Dance Team, along with a silent auction and bingo.

Currently, 26 teams are signed up, and over $5,500 has been raised. Last year, the event brought in more than $20,000 and 250 people.

“You relay for the people you love, or even for those you don’t know,” said Empanger. “It’s just a great time to come together and support each other.”

Students, faculty, staff and the surrounding SMU community are encouraged to attend Relay for Life and are welcome to stay for as much or as little time as their schedules allow, said Empanger. To view SMU’s Relay for Life progress, go to If you would like to be recognized as a survivor or for more information, contact Kristina Empanger at, Kaitlin Wermerskirchen at or Alison Hill at

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