Relay for Life took on a magical theme of “Disney: Wish Upon a Cure” this year as 200 students, alumni and community members came together to support a cure for cancer by raising $1,300 in donations on April 25.
“Each hour there’s a new theme or activity,” said Hallie Evenson, Colleges Against Cancer public relations chair. “There’s a spaghetti-eating contest that goes with ‘Lady and the Tramp,’ a magic carpet and race on a towel or blanket around the track like ‘Aladdin,’ and for ‘Cars,’ there’s an activity where you build your own car out of a cardboard box and race it around the track.”
Other events and laps included Cinderella’s Lost Shoe, Finding Dalmatian Spots, a villain lap and a Disney singalong.
“The favorite event was Dude Looks Like A Princess,” said senior event lead Angela Obermeier. “Guys dress up like ladies and ask for donations and do dances and things. It’s always one of the favorites.”
Obermeier’s favorite part of the event is when people start doing things they would not normally do. Obermeier relays for her brother who was diagnosed and died 10 years ago.
“At 3 a.m. we have the talent show, and this year there was an interpretive dance of the birthing process and the stages of life that was improvised on the spot and won,” Obermeier said.
Water pong, rock climbing, Zumba and a photo booth were also available to participants.
Megan Schlefke, senior arts management major, said her favorite events are water pong and karaoke because she likes getting to know other people.
“It was super fun last year, so I came all the way from Appleton to do it again this year,” Schlefke said.
This excitement fulfills one of the goals Kaylee Bast, sophomore entertainment chair, had for the event.
“I just wanted to make sure people have fun and keep coming back,” Bast said.
Bast became involved with the event in high school when her father was diagnosed with cancer.
“My father passed away from cancer when I was 16,” Bast said. “Watching him and his struggle and helping him inspired me to do the same for other people.”
Evenson’s favorite part of relay is the luminaria ceremony allowing participants to honor those who have been lost through small lights.
“We turn the big light off and it’s beautiful,” Evenson said.
The common misconception of Relay for Life is that participants are required to run or walk all night.
“People set up tents and sleeping bags and nap,” Evenson said. “People come and go, but we’re trying to encourage more people to stay there all night. It’s definitely not a running thing, though. It’s leisurely and you can take breaks.”
Relay for Life occurs during the last weekend of April every year and is open to everyone.
“Relay for Life is for everyone and is fantastic to come to,” Bast said. “It’s a great way to be with family and friends and be active on campus for a great cause.”
Zoe Page, senior survivorship chair, explained how being involved really makes a difference.
“Donating just $10 is so great,” Page said. “If everyone does that, it really adds up and makes a difference.”
Page’s inspiration comes from her uncle’s cancer diagnosis.
“I do Relay for Life because I’ve been affected by cancer and others I know have been affected by cancer, and it’s a way to give back and make a difference to find a cure,” Page said.