Relay for Life gets sweet in 2018

Stevenson University will host the seventh annual Relay for Life beginning on March 23, from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the Owings Mills gym. The event’s theme this year is Candy Land.

Relay is an event staffed and coordinated by volunteers and takes place across 27 countries, all with the common goal of ridding the world of cancer.  The event is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, according to Relay for Life’s website.

The event begins with an opening ceremony, kicking off the evening by honoring all those who have been affected by cancer and to everyone who contributed to the success of the Relay season.  Then there is a survivor/caregiver walk, the first official lap around the gym, which allows survivors to celebrate their victory while others cheer them on.  Directly after is the caregiver lap, acknowledging those who have been a caregiver to someone with cancer.  At 9 p.m. there will be a Luminaria Ceremony, a candle lit ceremony designated to represent everyone who had been touched by cancer.  Each light represents a life, either taken by cancer, a cancer survivor, or support for someone currently fighting.  It allows people the opportunity to grieve but also offers comfort and hope to others.

Teams of students, faculty, guests and staff members walk laps around the gym during the 2017 event. (Photo from Relay for Life’s Facebook page)

Various groups come together and walk around a track for anytime between six and twenty-four hours.  Stevenson’s Relay will last 12 hours and has 22 teams participating, ranging from clubs on campus to family groups.  Each team provides an activity or giveaway to continue fundraising for their team.

Stevenson’s Phi Sigma Sigma will host a jail, in which students can arrest others for a designated amount of tickets and then can only be bailed out if that number of tickets is repaid.

Stevenson’s Male Initiative for Leadership and Excellence (M.I.L.E.) has a balloon dart activity with candy hidden inside the balloons to relate to this year’s theme.  Students pay a ticket for the darts and if they pop a balloon, they receive the candy inside.  Nick Parkent, senior and captain for M.I.L.E.’s Relay team, said the club relays to do their part in giving back to others in need.  M.I.L.E. encourages all of its members to dedicate their time and effort to the cause.

Stevenson University has participated in Relay for Life for six years. Last year’s Luau theme decorated the Owings Mills gymnasium. (Photo from Relay for Life’s Facebook page)

Mustang Activities and Programming (MAP) will have a marshmallow shooter contest.  Student will pay a ticket to use a marshmallow shooter and aim at a given target; if they succeed, they will win a prize.  Sophomore Alyssa Maher and captain of MAP’s Relay team said the club relays for everyone they know who has been affected by cancer. Maher said cancer has taken too many lives and has damaged so many people, so she relays for those who are not able to, and to help people finish their fight against cancer.

Stevenson’s R.I.S.E. club will host a bra pong game and sell donuts.  Students have the opportunity to throw balls into bra cups and receive various prizes in order to raise awareness of breast cancer in a lighthearted way. Sophomore Gillian Nutter and captain for R.I.S.E. club’s Relay team, says the club relays for each other to support their individual experiences with cancer.  Nutter personally relays for her late grandfather, great aunt and cousins who have all battled cancer throughout their lives.

Lambda Pi Eta, Stevenson’s national communication honor society, previously walked in honor of one of the Business Communication professors, Christine Noya, who battled and beat cancer. This year, the honor society will walk in honor of professor Chip Rouse’s son Bryan Read, who is currently battling colon cancer.  Senior Courtney Hottle and captain for Lambda Pi Eta’s Relay team, says the team relays for the hope that they will no longer have to walk “in honor” or “in memory of” anyone related to the organization.  They are excited to raise money for cancer research through their photo booth activity and hope for a large turnout.

Maher said, “Stevenson’s Relay truly brings a sense of community and brings everyone together for a good cause.  It is amazing to see how many people join together and the amount of money we can all rise to help this cause.”

Stevenson SAAC and SGA will also host a faculty/student basketball on March 28 at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $2 to attend the game and $10 for students to participate. There will be prizes, giveaways and halftime performances by various on-campus student groups.  All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

To sign up for Relay for Life, go to the American Cancer Society’s website, search for Stevenson University, and join a team.  Registration is $15 online and increased to $20 at the door.  The Stevenson Relay for Life committee can be reached through campus email if there are further questions.

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