Fifth Annual Collegiate Relay for Life Raises Thousands for Cancer Research

Event Has Become Popular Spring Semester Campus Activity

April 15, 2012

Putting in the miles walking the course in support of Collegiate Relay for Life are, from the left, Makenzie Wippel, Lisa Fetters and Bethany Ahrens.

Putting in the miles walking the course in support of Collegiate Relay for Life are, from the left, Makenzie Wippel, Lisa Fetters and Bethany Ahrens.


More than 200 students, faculty, staff and friends and 25 teams circled the campus mall during 18 hours of fun and festivities, reflection and remembrance April 13 and 14 at Wilmington College’s fifth annual Collegiate Relay for Life.

With pledges to be finalized and an online promotion lasting through May, organizers hoped to raise more than $10,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Event co-chairs Emily Ferguson and Saraya Arnold said the popular spring semester event is a great way to bring the campus community together for a great cause.

“Relay for Life has become such a large event because everybody is affected in some way by cancer; whether they themselves have had cancer or maybe a family member, other relative or friend has had it,” Ferguson said.

Activities kicked off Friday evening at 6 p.m. the way all Relay for Life events do nationwide, with the “Survivor Lap” featuring cancer survivors and their supporters.

Quickly, a festive atmosphere emerged with teams’ decorated carts on display and the commencing of the obstacle course and scavenger hunt.

Campus organizations sold items ranging from soup, chili conies, walking tacos and deep-fried Twinkies to a Las Vegas-style wedding and pies in the face of fraternity guys. The Tarzan/Jane activity featured cross-dressing participants collecting votes/dollars to determine the winners.

Always a highlight, the men’s soccer team sold eggs to throw at players attired in makeshift armor. Supporters and adversaries purchased — and threw — nearly 1,000 eggs as the team raised nearly $400 for cancer research.

Arnold echoed the sentiments expressed by her co-chair in noting that cancer hits home with almost everyone. Indeed, a faculty member and member of WC’s Board of Trustees recently succumbed to the disease.

“A lot of students on this campus have had either a relative or friend or even a teacher or classmate afflicted with cancer,” Arnold said. “That’s why Emily and I are involved — it’s important to be here.”

(LEFT) Sigrid Solomon, VP for student affairs, and Sue Reynolds, WC's first lady, enjoy participating in the Relay.

Sophomore Bethany Ahrens was walking the course with friends Makenzie Wippel and Lisa Fetters.

“It’s exciting to see all these people here,” she said. “It’s for a good cause and raises awareness.”

Senior Jeff Williams purchased several luminarias, which feature candles inside a white bag colorfully decorated with the names of loved ones lost to the disease. For an hour, scores of lighted luminaria circled the walking course.

“Relay for Life has a special place in my heart,” he said. “Over the last year, I have lost three close family members — I’ve lost an aunt, an uncle and my grandmother to cancer.”

The 10 o’clock hour brought the candle lighting and luminaria lap, a poignantly quiet and reflective period in which to remember those lost to cancer and the survivors of the disease.

Relay for Life went on until noon Saturday with teams having walkers on the course at all times in the midst of film showings and additional games and promotions.