UK raises more than $30,000 in Relay for Life

By Jacob Stogsdill | @KyKernel

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UK raised $32,450 Friday for Relay for Life, an annual American Cancer Society fundraiser for cancer research.

The Seaton Center was packed Friday evening with 463 members of 70 teams.

Those in attendence walked the track for 12 hours between 7 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.

The night started with Brett Spear, a researcher from UK’s Markey Cancer Center, and other guest speakers at the opening ceremony who discussed how many lives Relay for Life helps.

The walk itself began with the Survivors Lap, which highlighted all those in attendance who have beaten cancer.

There was also a Caregivers Lap that featured those who willingly helped someone through a battle with cancer.

The Disney-themed event was packed with games and events to keep everyone busy and moving if they were not on the track.

Themed laps had participants dress according to the theme. Themes included “Champions” and “Space Mountain” laps.

One member from each team had to be on the track at all times to continue the motion of Relay for Life.

The games and fundraising activities included corn hole, head shavings, ring tosses and dart throwing.

The event was moved inside the Seaton Center because the Johnson Center Fields were wet and the weather was cold and rainy, said Elizabeth Raggio, a community representative for the American Cancer Society.

She said that, except for the weather, the event was successful.

“When you walk to end cancer at a Relay event, it’s your opportunity not only honor cancer survivors and remember loved ones lost, but also to raise awareness about what we can do to stay well from cancer and raise money to help fuel the world’s largest walk to end cancer,” Raggio said.

The top three teams and the top three individuals to raise the most money will get a prize.

Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority were the top teams in this year’s event.

Phi Gamma Delta, more commonly known as FIJI, raised more than $2,000. At midnight, participants decorated white paper bags with glow sticks inside, at the Luminaria Ceremony, to remember those who lost their battle with cancer.

“It symbolizes what a cancer patient goes through,” Raggio said. “Going into darkness and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”