Samantha Lund, News Editor
Relay for Life brings together groups of people to fight against cancer. There are past, present and future Lutes who have and will battle cancer, and Pacific Lutheran University holds Relay for Life each year in support of them.
Relay for Life is an organized, overnight fundraising walk. Teams camp out around campus and members of each team take turns walking around a track or campus.
Along with the walks, there are food, games and activities to entertain and make the experience more fun.
The goal of the event is to have different relay teams sponsored to walk all night to raise money to support cancer research.
Last year, PLU exceeded expectations and raised $25,000 to help battle cancer. Since the first PLU Relay in 2006, Lutes have raised more than $200,000.
PLU’s Colleges Against Cancer club and Relay for Life received the Nationwide Top Ten award for per-capita fundraising several times over the years. Lutes received this award in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
So far this year, PLU has 17 teams participating in the 2015 Relay. In those teams, there are 48 total participants and together they have raised $540 so far.
The Relay for Life kickoff event was Wednesday, Feb. 18 in the Cave. Different teams attended the event to sign up for Relay and to celebrate the official start of Relay for Life. The event had tie-dye, music and free ice cream.
Teams have been working since Wednesday and the team “PLU Dancers” has already raised $230 for Relay.
“Our motto is ‘Fight cancer, hug a dancer,’” senior Emily Mansfield said. “To me, its just all about doing something to stop it. It means a lot to me and my family.”
Relay is more personal for some Lutes, like Mansfield who have had family members with cancer and choose to honor them.
“It means being one step closer to finding a cure that doesn’t involve poisoning other parts of the body,” senior Gailon Wixson-Pursley said. “Finding a cure could make the fight against cancer unimaginably easier for those going through it.”
A recent cancer survivor, Wixson-Pursley joined Relay for Life after being diagnosed and beating cancer last summer. Wixson-Pursley and her friends are participating in Relay to not only honor the fight that Wixson-Pursley has fought, but also the fight that more people lose everyday.
To get involved in this year’s Relay for Life, go to http://relayforlife.org/getinvolved/findanevent and type in “Pacific Lutheran University.”