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Lycoming College student club, Colleges Against Cancer, once again hosted its annual Relay For Life event to celebrate cancer survivors from the College community, as well as to raise funds to help take action against cancer. For its 14th year on campus, the College partnered with the students to host the event in the Keiper Recreation Center on Friday, Mar. 22, 2019.
Relay for Life is the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, where participants take turns walking around a track non-stop to signify that cancer never sleeps. At Lycoming, individuals and teams of students, faculty, and staff from across campus raise money for cancer research by selling treats and providing fun activities for participants for a full 12 hours.
This year’s event was especially heartfelt. It has been one year since Lycoming College’s very own Jackie Bilger passed away after a well fought and tough battle with cancer. The team created in her memory, Warriors for a Cure Insight, was the top earner of the night, raising more than $3,000. The Beta Phi Gamma team placed second with more than $2,000.
The Survivor Dinner kicked off the event at 5 p.m. in the Keiper Recreation Center atrium with a meal donated by campus dining provider, Parkhurst Dining Services. Following the dinner, the Opening Ceremony saw participants take a lap around the recreation center track, and from there moved on to fun events and snacks that keep students, faculty, and staff fueled, entertained, and ready to burn the midnight oil to see the event through until morning:
- Frozen shirt contest to see who can thaw out a shirt the quickest
- Basket raffle
- Pie in the face
- Lip-sync battles
- & Mrs. Relay, where two participants venture outside in switched clothing and compete the raise the most amount of money in 20 minutes
Perhaps the most special time of the event comes at 10 p.m. when all participants remember loved ones who have passed away from cancer during the Luminaria Ceremony. A beautifully put together slide show set to music pays a loving tribute to those lost, while all in attendance pause for a moment of silence and take a lap around the track holding luminaries.