Universitywide event to recognize cancer victims

By Farris Willingham, Staff Writer

Victims of cancer will be commemorated at the upcoming Relay For Life event.

It will be hosted April 1-2 on the Quad Lawn.

“There is no deadline to register for a team,” said Hailey Blanton, sophomore survivorship chairwoman. “We will take people who sign up the day of, but it’s not recommended.”

The deadline to receive an event shirt has passed, she said.

“Even if you’re not on a team, participants can still come join the walk or help raise funds,” Blanton said.  “A lot of people still come.”

Currently, there are 33 teams and 297 participants. At press time, OCU participants had raised $11,184.

Many activities will be going on throughout the night, she said.

“Teams will create their activities,” Blanton said. “They’ll set up a campsite to host them during the night.

“We don’t know all the activities right now, but we will find that out at our next meeting.”

A stage also will be set up to host performances and speakers, she said.

“We’ll have cancer survivors talking throughout the night, other guest speakers, a liturgical dance team, and OCUpella singing,” Blanton said.

During the middle of the night, a Luminary Ceremony will be hosted. Bags lit up by lights will be placed around the Quad Lawn during the ceremony, she said.

“We will make sure everyone has a lit candle and then we all will walk around the quad to commemorate the people whose names are written on the bags,” Blanton said.

Participants can buy the bags for $5 on the day of the event. The bags can be decorated and placed anywhere and read “in memory of” or “in honor of,” she said.

“I’m just excited to see everyone coming out,” Blanton said. “Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, so Relay For Life can really bring everyone on campus together.”

Stefanie Warnick, acting/music freshman, said she agrees the event will unite the campus.

“Three people in my family have died of cancer,” she said. “Anything that promotes cancer research is great.”

This article originally was posted in the March 23 issue of The Campus newspaper.

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