On Friday, April 5, students gathered in Circle Park for the University of Tennessee’s first “Relay For Life” event. With a large turnout, the relay surpassed its goal of $35,000 for the fight against cancer.
A team of over a dozen students planned the event. Committee member Anna Fredericks’s experience helped bring the event to U.T. “I did in high school and I was on committee last year as a freshman. Last year, the committee was all seniors that graduated,” Fredericks said. “So, me and two other people recruited others to join the team and make the event what it came to be.”
Additionally, contributions from student volunteers made the event such a success.
Many different campus organizations showed up with booths to contribute to the overall funds raised of the evening. Delta Zeta sorority sold cake pops for donations and Kappa Delta sorority sold hot dogs and drinks, along with puppies from The Humane Society that donators could cuddle. Although the event lasted six hours, it was a mere evening compared to the fight that cancer patients endure. Moreover, the meaning behind the relay is that supporters can walk nonstop in honor of cancer fighters that never get a break from the terrible disease.
Towards the end, speakers gave participants a time to reflect on loved ones that have lost the battle with cancer. There were hundreds of luminaries lit in honor of specific loved ones. Everyone walked a lap in silence, pondering the soberness of the cause and its effects and why they gave up an evening to support it. Also, participants released a swarm of balloons in the air to honor those that lose the battle. In commemorating loved ones at the relay, donors realized how important the event is in the fight against cancer.
The first U.T. only relay was a major success. Next year, the board expects even more students to come spend their evenings in an attempt to end the fight against cancer.
Edited by Lauren Claxton and Grace Goodacre
Featured photo by Raina White