By Della Porta, Staff Writer

 

The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) will be hosting the annual Relay For Life on Friday, April 12, 2013. Students, faculty and community members will meet in the Fitness and Recreation Center at 9pm to begin the event.

Participants establish teams to walk with, and the team members take turns walking around the track throughout the night to celebrate, remember and fight back against cancer.

Lauren Kennison, a junior and second year co-chair of the Relay For Life committee at UMF, will be participating in the Relay for the third time for this coming event. Kennison and her co-chair, Katherine Doyle, “coordinate and are responsible for everything that everyone does.” This includes assigning duties to sub-committees, such as the food and drink or the performance committees.

Each team participating in the Relay does fundraising individually. One example of a team’s efforts to raise money for the Relay is the Date Auction, that was held by the team Keep Calm and Bagpipe On. “The date auction raised over $1,000 this year.” said Kennison. “It’s just unbelievable.”

Holly Legere, a sophomore and team captain of the UMF Dance Team’s Relay team, Dancers Against Cancer, is getting excited about the upcoming event. “I participate in Relay because I lost two very important people in my life to cancer.” said Legere. After losing loved ones to cancer, Legere is eager to participate in the Relay and raise money for the fight against cancer. “They were the strongest people I have met.” said Legere, “I walk for them.”

Legere and her team of 12 have been reaching out to friends and family in an effort to fundraise for the Relay. “People have been doing a great job fundraising and setting the bar high!” said Legere.

Relay For Life is about more than fundraising for the fight against cancer; participants have fun playing games and participating in activities throughout the night. “We try to make it a lot of fun for people. UMF’s a capella group, Clefnotes, will be performing along with Teacher’s Lounge Mafia, an alumni improv group from UMF. Other activities will be going on during the event as well such as a scavenger hunt and there will be pinatas hung that will be broken into throughout the night.

The event begins with a survivor walk, at which time those who have survived cancer can celebrate their victory by taking the first lap. Sometime during the night, a luminaria ceremony takes place “which is a more quiet time for people to reflect and remember.” said Kennison. This ceremony is dedicated to the loved ones who were unable to survive cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the Relay began in 1985 when a single person raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society by running and walking for 24 straight hours. The following year, 340 people joined him. Since then, Relay For Life has grown into a worldwide event that has raised over $4 billion to fight cancer.

The UMF Relay event is composed of 31 teams who have raised $13,315.50. “We push, push push fundraising.” said Kennison. “We are doing amazing this year!” With everyone’s help, there may someday be the cure we’ve been looking for.

To sign up for the Relay or get more information, please contact Katherine Doyle at katherine.m.doyle@maine.edu or Lauren Kennison at lauren.kennison@maine.edu or visit www.relayforlife.org. You can also like the “UMF Relay For Life 2013” Facebook page to stay updated.