For a mother, for a father, for a sister, for a brother, for a grandparent, a friend, or for someone whose fight has already ended were the sentiments that lingered throughout the day at John Carroll University’s fourth annual Relay For Life. While JCU is still new to Relay For Life the national organization is celebrating its 25-year commitment to finding a cure.
Junior Courtney Weisenberger, Student Director of Relay For Life, said, “It is an excellent opportunity for JCU to show support for the American Cancer Society.”
The quad, and later the varsity gym due to rain, was transformed into this year’s theme “Wild for a Cure.” Blow up animals and palm trees, lined the quad as the opening ceremonies started. With words of encouragement and gratitude for the planning team, the singing of the National Anthem by Rhapsody Blue and “America the Beautiful” by the Sweet Carolines, and a blessing from the Rev. Donald Cozzens, the event was kicked off by the survivor walk, where students and supporters spread across the quad to cheer on those donning the purple survivor T-shirts.
All day, teams raised money for the American Cancer Society. On the quad near St. Francis chapel, junior Megan Abraham hoped she would not have to get wet sitting in the SUPB-sponsored dunking booth.
Even though the water was just as cold as the air in the early morning she was adamant it was for a good cause.
“It’s freezing out, [but] it’s for a good cause. I have family affected by cancer, so [to possibly get] hypothermia for 50 cents doesn’t bother me,” said Abraham, shivering as she got dunked several times in her half-hour shift.
EMS was also continuing their fundraising tradition of offering $1 cot rides, while also being attentive in case of any injuries.
Sophomore Adam Boggs said, “Last year nothing happened, [but this year] the concrete is a little more slick, [and] the grass is a little more slick. That’s why we are here just in case.”
The team named the Purple People Eaters held a new fundraiser in front of Bernet Hall. Using spray paint, they tie dyed T-shirts using the different colors that represent cancer. Team captain, sophomore Amanda Cowan, and participant, sophomore Cory Gotowka, came up with the idea.
“We went through 24 cans of spray paint, and have made over $100,” Gotowka reported at 1:30 p.m., as Bernet’s grass was becoming as multicolored as the T-shirts being sprayed. At the end of the day he said, “It was about $400 in T-shirt sales ($2 per shirt), and about $350 from personal donations.”
Even members of the local community joined the fight against cancer. St. Ignatius High School students offered chariot rides and had a free throw contest throughout the day.
Kevin Ryan described the preparations the team went through. “We had weekly meetings, worked out, and conditioned anyway we could for Relay,” he said.
Relay continued even throughout the rain, as the teams moved into the varsity gym. The luminaria ceremony, personal testimony, followed by more walking and closing remarks from JCU students wrapped up the evening, which ended at 4 a.m.
“This is an important event for JCU because so many people are affected by cancer,” Weisenberger said.