Most students at Bellevue College have experienced the loss of family and friends due to the effects of cancer. On June 29-30, the BC hosted the “What Can I Do” Relay for Life convention on the BC baseball field. The field was adorned with booths spreading awareness and support for those affected by cancer. This year 41 teams and 334 participants raised $53,103.45 for the American Cancer Society. This exceeded the funds raised for the 2012 Relay for Life, which totaled $29,668.
The Relay for Life fundraiser began in 1985 when Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, decided to increase the income of his local American Cancer Society house by running a 24-hour 83-mile marathon in the name of cancer victims. While running, Dr. Klatt envisioned 24-hour relay teams to raise even more money to fight cancer. Dr. Klatt raised $27,000 for the fight against cancer in the fundraiser’s first year.
Relay for Life traditionally features the Survivors Lap and the Fight Back Ceremony, where participants cheer on survivors who run the track and make commitments towards personal health and cancer prevention. Another highlight of the festivities was the Luminaria Ceremony, where candles were lit and bags were filled with sand and labeled with the names of fallen cancer victims.
Groups throughout the community, as well as individuals, collected pledges to raise money for the cause and in order to help local patients who are battling cancer. Among the event’s sponsors were the Key Foundation, Walmart, Fred Meyer, Overlake Medical Clinics, PartyLite, A. Adams DJ Entertainment, Best Buy, Grand Event Rentals, Grovery Outlet, Veronica’s Cake Arts, Jet City Pizza, KOMO-Star-KVI Affiliates, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Starbucks, Sunbelt Rentals, Taco Time, Coca-Cola, Top Pot Doughnuts, United Site Services and Jamba Juice.
For those who missed their chance to join a team this year, donations are still being accepted at http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife. Students can try the Hope-100 Fundraising activity. It’s a sheet that you share with co-workers, family and friends where you can make purpose specific donations, such as “4 quarters for cancer prevention education” or “$4 for a future with less cancer.” Once the board is full, you have raised $100 dollars toward fighting cancer. The sheet is available on the Relay for Life website, which also features details about next year’s drive.