By Angel Greer, Contributing Writer 

Students at UMF are hosting a Disney themed Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society to help promote cancer awareness and raise funds to fight the disease.  The annual event will be held Friday, April 7th at 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the FRC.

Relay for Life is an all-night event where teams from UMF and the community take turns walking or running around the track at the FRC to raise money for cancer research.

To raise money for the fight against cancer, each team member is challenged to raise at least $100 before the event and to go out and find sponsors who will donate a certain amount of money towards each lap the team members make during the event.

“If a club on campus went out and asked someone to sponsor them, the sponsor could say that they want to donate $0.50 for every lap each team member takes,” said Beckett.  If there are 6 team members and they each took 40 laps each, that team would get a donation of $120 from that one sponsor.  Clubs, students, community organizations, family, and groups of friends are invited to register as a team.

Registration either online or in person is relatively easy.  “It’s only $10 and you can go right online to the Relay for Life website or give the $10 to any club member,” said Relay for Life club member Vanessa Brown, “Plus, all the money goes towards a good cause.”

When not on the track, team members can enjoy Disney themed food, games, music, and prizes which is all run and coordinated by volunteers. There will also be volunteer performances during the event, such as Clefnotes, an acapella group on campus.   

Joshua Beckett, Co-President of the Relay for Life club, asks that a team member is on the track at all times. “Cancer never sleeps or takes a break, cancer patients don’t stop fighting because they’re tired and for one night, neither do the team members,” said Beckett.

Team members also have the option to dedicate a Luminaria. “A Luminaria honors a life touched by cancer,” said Beckett. “You can dedicate them to a loved one currently battling, anyone who overcame it, or loved one you lost to cancer.”  After dark, everyone at the event takes a moment of silence to remember their loved ones they’re dedicating their time to.

Last year the club raised over $14,000 towards cancer research and hope to beat that amount this April. Other clubs at UMF also had chance to raise money for their own clubs by selling baked goods during the all-night event.