Appalachian’s Relay for Life battles cancer and hunger


Michelle Pierce

Sophomore excercise science major John Dwyer performs in the drag show at Relay for Life on Duck Pond Field Friday. Despite the rain, many people showed up to the fundraiser to raise money and awareness for cancer.
Despite poor weather conditions, Appalachain State University’s Relay for Life event was able to raise money for the American Cancer Society and food cans for the Hospitality House in Boone Friday.

As of press time, the event raised $54,375.95 to be donated toward cancer research. A donation table was also set outside of Trivett Dining Hall to accept any amount of money in any form.

The fundraising walk started with cancer survivors taking the first walk around the field, with those who have helped someone battling cancer joining in the second lap.

“One guy even gave us $79.71 in coins,” said James Wester, a Colleges Against Cancer member helping at the table.

Other ways to donate to the cause were to purchase Relay for Life T-shirts or buy donated food. For those who didn’t have cash, they could go to the donation table, make a donation online and receive Relay for Life monopoly-styled money to use at vendors.

Students were gathered at Duck Pond Field from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next day enjoying live entertainment including a drag show pageant, a cappella groups and a disc jockey.

Around 10 p.m., the luminary ceremony began with a silent walk around the field as the luminaries lit up the center field and spelt out the words “hope” and “cure.” The ceremony’s purpose is to remember and honor the lives lost to cancer.
Colleges Against Cancer started planning for this event in August to make the proper preparations for a successful Relay for Life.

With winds averaging 30 mph, several pole tents got thrown onto the ground, which was muddy from the rain earlier that evening.

One student, Paul Evans, walked non-stop for hours around the muddied track with a 50-pound military rucksack on his back.

Evans, a sophomore general management major, represented the ROTC Scabbard and Blade team in his walk.

“It’s the most I could personally do for Relay for Life,” Evans said. “Hopefully I can inspire others to join me next year.”
Eighty-one teams participated in the event made up of Greek councils, resident halls, campus clubs and groups of friends totaling 1,411 participants.

Zeta Tau Alpha, with a team of 66 members, raised the greatest amount of donations than any other team in the Relay for Life with a total of $5,811.74.

“Tonight went well even though the weather was less than great,” said Smit Patel, Colleges Against Cancer member. “We hope that next year’s weather will improve and even more participants will come out.”

Story: MICHELLE PIERCE, Intern News Reporter

Photo: MAGGY BOUTWELL, Intern Photographer