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Relay for life tonight

By Staff | Apr 4, 2014

Shepherd University’s annual Relay for Life will honor survivors and those still fighting the battle with cancer.

Today, Friday April 4 until early morning. tomorrow April 5, students faculty and the community will put on their walking shoes for the American Cancer Society fundraiser.

Rachel Crum, Community Service and Service Learning coordinator, has advised the student-run Relay for Life committee this year.

Crum said this year’s event will include more than 50 teams made up of community members and students.

This year, the committee set relay’s goal at $68,000 dollars. They raised approximately $31,000 dollars at press time.

Crum said the group factored in a slower economy when settling a goal, but she’s confident they’ll hit their mark.

“We’re still kind of dealing with economic issues in our community,” she said.

Jessi Bennington, co-chair of the Relay for Life Committee and third-year elementary education student, said she relays as a tribute to her mother, who passed about from cervical cancer.

“My mother passed away about three and a half years ago,” she said.

“Raising money for this event is what helps.”

Bennington worked throughout the last year with committee members training Relay team captains, planning small fundraisers and preparing for the event.

“I wanted to make a difference,” she said.

“My mother was a great inspiration to me.”

This years theme is “Finish the Fight,” the American Cancer Societys motto for 2014.

“For us at Shepherd University, it stands for us putting everything we have into fundraising for the American Cancer Society,” Crum said.

The traditional torch lighting will open the event followed by a short parade starting downtown on German St. at 4 p.m.

Opening remarks, featuring university president Suzanne Shipley, will be held at Shepherd University’s Wellness Center, where the event will be held throughout the night.

The luminary ceremony honoring those lost to cancer will be held at 9:30 p.m. tonight.

The traditional Survivor’s Lap will take place at 6 p.m. at the Wellness Center.

Crum said Relay’s ultimate mission is to eliminate a need to relay in the future.

“No one should have to hear the words, ‘You have cancer.'” she said.

Those interested can still donate. join a team or create their own, by registering online.

Visit Shepherd Universitys Relay for Life page at www.shepherd.edu/scsweb/cs/relay.html for more information.

The American Caner Society supports cancer research and support programs for cancer patients and survivors.

All community members are invited to attend tonight’s event regardless of their participation on a team.

Donations will continue to be accepted on behalf of the American Caner Society until August.