American Cancer Society, NAU students prepare for Relay for Life
The American Cancer Society will kick off its signature annual event, Relay For Life, on Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. in the Fieldhouse. The championship games of NAU Intramural Sports’ “I’m Pretty Strong” dodgeball tournament will also be going on, with all of the proceeds going to Relay.
Caitlin Thede, a sophomore exercise science major and chair of NAU’s Relay For Life event, said the goal of the kick-off is to make people aware Relay is here again and encourage students to register teams for the event.
“I always describe the Relay kick-off as the pre-Relay party,” Thede said. “We will be hanging out in the Fieldhouse on Thursday, Nov. 18 to register teams, provide information about the event, play a few games and listen to a special guest speaker share his experience with cancer. It will be quick, fun and informative.”
The Relay For Life committee members running the kick-off will also be in the Fieldhouse supporting the NAU Intramural Sports dodgeball tournament.
The dodgeball tournament is meant to specifically target breast cancer awareness, so teams are encouraged to wear pink, the international color for breast cancer.
“We will be raising money all week long for the American Cancer Society,” the intramural sports office said in an email. “We ask all teams to show their pink pride by wearing pink uniforms, socks, etc. We will be having a raffle each night for some great prizes.”
There will be a pink spirit contest between the teams on championship night.
The dodgeball tournament started Nov. 15, and teams were gradually eliminated as the week continued.
Tim Carter, American Cancer Society community relationship manager for the Great West division and staff partner for the NAU Relay, said he encourages students to come to the kick-off to get excited for Relay For Life, and to register teams.
“We are encouraging anyone interested in forming a team to come register that night,” Carter said. “Teams are formed from Greek Life organizations, academic groups, social clubs, residence halls or just a bunch of friends willing to take a stand against cancer. We are partnering with Intramural [Sports] to boost awareness and to help make this event a huge success.”
Carter also stressed the importance of the kick-off as both a tool to help teams to succeed and a way to learn more about cancer.
“It is important for people to know what they can do to help prevent cancer, or learn what kind of help is out there should they — or someone they know — [be] diagnosed,” Carter said.
Relay For Life is an all-night event set to take place in April that raises money for cancer patient services and research for a cure. Participants can choose to create or join teams that attend the event and usually host some sort of on-site fundraiser. Teams are encouraged to have at least one member walking around the track at all times throughout the night to symbolize that cancer never sleeps. The night is full of fun and prizes, as well as emotionally powerful activities.
Thede said the kick-off is an important part of planning a Relay because it motivates people to start fundraising early and to be well-prepared by the day of the event. She predicts this Relay will be very successful.
“I envision this Relay to be one that can be an exciting event that touches the lives of those affected by cancer and empowers people to continue our fight to eliminate cancer,” Thede said.