Shepherd planning 10th Relay for Life fundraiser
Friday, Mar. 30 is the day set for the 10th annual Shepherd University Relay for Life event. This year’s theme is “I Believe…” which coincides with the school’s Common Reading program selection, Jay Allison’s “This I Believe.”
The monetary goal set for this year’s event, according to a recent press release issued by the University, is $80,000. To date, more than $6,000 has been raised.
According to Rachel Crum, AmeriCorps VISTA community service coordinator and previous chair of the event, team captains are meeting each week to plan fund raising events and plan for the Mar. 30 walk.
“Coming back and helping plan this year’s Relay is exciting,” Crum said. “To see how it’s grown is exciting.” She went on to say that “Becoming an indoor event is probably the coolest thing we’ve done since we’ve started. It’s either freezing or raining and everyone has to be so flexible. It’s exciting to take all that out of the equation and see what we can really do.”
The Relay for Life concept was begun by a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Wash., who decided to run marathons to raise funds for cancer research. In May 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt spent 24 hours circling a track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Friends paid $25 to run or walk with him over the 24-hour period. After traveling 83 miles, he raised $27,000 to help fight cancer.
In 1986, he, along with friends, developed the relay concept. Relays are now held nationwide and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research.
Shepherd University’s Relay has raised $429,631 since 2003 and has brought the community and students together in a concerted effort to help eliminate a dreaded disease.
Several fund raisers have been scheduled gearing up for the March Relay. On Valentine’s Day, a spaghetti dinner will be held at Christ Reformed Church, 304 East German Street, from 5:30-8 p.m. Feb. 18 will see a fundraiser at Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Martinsburg from 2 to 4 p.m. and another event at Chick-Fil-A in Ranson on Feb. 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
To date, 197 participants and 41 teams have registered for the annual Relay. Others interested in participating or in donating can find information at www.shepherd.edu/relayforlife.