By Kelsey Haugh
The Saint Mary’s community helped fight cancer on Friday, March 15, at the annual Relay for Life event on the Saint Mary’s University campus.
The event was hosted by SMU’s Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), a student club on campus that works with the American Cancer Society to fight cancer. There were 19 teams signed up for this year’s event, with a total of 168 participants. The event raised $17,478.02, with money still coming in. Of the 19 teams, the team that brought in the most money was “Team Eddie,” with an outstanding $2,537, but the SMU women’s hockey team wasn’t far behind with $2,238.51.
The event lasted from 6:30 p.m. on Friday night to about 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. It included many different events. There was live entertainment from an Irish dancer, the SMU dance team, The Sirens acappella group and The Plaza Kings. Relay for Life also included a Zumba session and a special Open Mic Night. Games like the Newlywed Game and Heads and Tails allowed participants to win prizes like gift cards to local restaurants and a Kindle Fire.
Each team was required to have a silent auction basket and a booth or table at the event where they sold items of their choice. All proceeds went to the American Cancer Society for cancer research.
Throughout the night, three speeches were given. The first speech was given by Tim Radermacher. This “celebrate speech” acknowledges the survivors who attended the event, including Radermacher’s daughter. At least 17 survivors attended this year’s event, according to CAC’s Survivorship Chair Lexi Hamiliton.
The second speech, the “remember speech,” was given by Laura Wotta. Right after the remember speech, candles were lit in paper pages lined around the track to honor, support and remember loved ones who have battled cancer during the luminaria service. According to sophomore CAC member Mary Barthel, this is always one of the favorite parts of Relay for Life.
The third speech, “the fight back speech,” was written by Abbey Steinle but was given by Mary Samson with Steinle’s permission.
The Relay for Life event was considered a success by CAC members, who will begin planning next year’s event very soon. More information about CAC and how to get involved is available by emailing CAC member Kristen Gustafson at KDGUST10@smumn.edu.