Relay For Life of Bellevue is being held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 13 at Bellevue High School.
Relay For Life is the main event put on by the American Cancer Society to celebrate cancer survivors and patients, and remember those who have lost the fight. Community manager of Relay For Life Great West Division, Brittany Stepnioski, said, “Relay For Life is the only community owned event where people can come together around a common cause to celebrate, grieve and heal.”
The event is volunteer driven and staff supported. Relay For Life is in more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries. Stepnioski says that, “[It] is for everyone,” adding that anyone from her 3-year-old niece can participate to her 80-year-old grandma can participate.
It is the biggest fundraiser of the American Cancer Society, bringing in over half of the American Cancer Society’s income.” The events spread across the United States raises over $400 million a year, covering over half of the American Cancer Society’s income.
The event will begin with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. followed by a survivor lap and a caregiver lap. Survivors will then be welcome to join other survivors for complimentary breakfast and a goodie bag.
The Bellevue College community is involved on the event leadership team organizing the event and other members are encouraged to volunteer and participate at the event. Around 10 teams from Bellevue College are expected to participate and are currently raising money.
In order to participate on June 13, students must sign up at BellevueRelay.org. Once there are between seven and 15 people in a group, it is considered a team and fundraising begins.
The event consists of walking and enjoying the company of others attending to support the same cause. Bellevue College student and Entertainment Chair on the committee for the Eastlake High School Relay For Life, Xander Davidson, described the event as a “fun environment to raise awareness around the fight for cancer. Everyone is supporting each other and remembering those who are fighting and those who’ve lost the battle.”
Stepnioski encourages everyone to participate and let other people in the community to join, “The best way to get people to join you is simply to ask and let them know why you relay.” Registration is free and there is no fundraising minimum. If $100 or more is raised, that person is automatically entered into the Hope Club and receives an event t-shirt. “We really celebrate cancer survivors and patients, they are VIP at our event.”
Davidson participated at the Relay For Life event at Eastlake High School on May 16. He was in charge of getting bands to perform, and making sure the DJ and movies were set. This year was the first year carnival games were set up. Davidson said, “This year was a lot more fun because we had a lot more activities rather than just walking around the track. It is a powerful way to get so many people together on such an important issue. I definitely think people should check it out.”
Information on upcoming events in the area can be found at relay.acsevents.org.