Relay For Life gives students the chance to make a difference

Students have a lot to do. Between going to class (or skipping), doing homework (at the last minute), paying parking tickets (or just getting towed) and sleeping (or staying up all night watching the third season of “The Office”) there is not an abundance of free time. This is why you must exercise that freedom wisely.

You could reward all your hard work (or lack thereof) with a mini-corndog platter at K-Lair, or even catch a 90’s sitcom rerun on TBS. Sometimes, however, your free time is worth a little more.

Voluntary community service is important, and so is exercise. Naturally, Relay For Life is a great way to spend your time.

Relay For Life is more than passing a baton: It’s about curing cancer — and having fun — but more so about curing cancer.

Relay For Life is a unique fundraising event that allows participants from all walks of life — including cancer patients, survivors, Greek life, religious organizations, student organizations and individual groups of people — to join together to fight cancer.

Relay For Life reminds us that progress has been made in the fight against cancer and that everyone who participates in the fundraiser is making a difference. During the event, UK student participants walk in circles, but with a purpose. This celebration of life brings numerous groups and individuals concerned about cancer together for a unified effort to fight the disease.

Teams of enthusiastic students will gather at a local campus hotspot for an overnight relay against cancer from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in spring 2008.

Relay For Life opens as cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer) walk or wheelchair the first lap. This is an emotional time and sets the stage for the importance of each participant’s contribution. A festive atmosphere always develops around the track at these events.

As you make new friends and spend time with old ones, the event heats up and the camp out begins. Camaraderie develops with team members spending time together: eating, playing and, of course, walking for a great cause.

Highlighting the evening is the Ceremony of Hope, a luminaria ceremony held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle against cancer.

The luminaries, small lanterns, line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.

“Relay For Life is as much an awareness raiser about the progress against cancer as it is a fundraiser,” said Lindsey Berlin, the Relay For Life event chair. “Many of the participants will be people who have dealt with cancer themselves. Their involvement is proof of progress that has been made in reducing cancer death rates and in the quality of life following cancer treatment.”

There are many ways to get involved with this event and various committee positions that still need to be filled. Joining this committee will not only make a difference in your life, but also in the lives of others.

To get information about how to form a team or become involved in Relay For Life, e-mail Berlin at

[email protected] or team development chair Kelly Leech at [email protected]

So, as great as Ross Gellar and “Friends” are on a slow Lexington afternoon, there is a bigger world outside of Central Perk. So lace up your walking shoes and get to e-mailing Berlin and Leech. And remember, there are no commercials in real life.

Tyler Montell is the UK Student Government Senate president. E-mail [email protected]