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The Blue & Gray Press | February 21, 2018

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Relay For Life Races for Cancer Support

Relay For Life Races for Cancer Support

Over 450 people gathered on Ball Circle this past weekend as part of Relay for Life to celebrate, remember and fight back against a disease that is expected to take 577,190 American lives this year.

According to the American Cancer Society, not only will that many people die from cancer this year, but 1,638,910 new cases of cancer are estimated to come about.

Relay for Life at the University of Mary Washington was founded two years ago by Luke Ruth and Laura Allen, both of whom are now graduating seniors.

Planning for this year’s Relay began in August by the Relay for Life Committee, according to co-chairs Suzanna Rodgers and Melissa Peters.

Relay for Life began at 3:00 p.m. in the Great Hall on Saturday. Originally, the event was supposed to have been held on the track at the Battleground Complex, but this was changed due to inclement weather.

There were several events througout the night including a Survival Lap, barbeque eating contest and a wing-eating contest.

“We had close to 500 participants registered for the event and started out with around 400 at the opening ceremony,” said Rodgers. “Participants dwindled throughout the event, and there were 50 to 60 by the closing ceremony.”

Despite the rain, at 9 p.m. there was a luminaria ceremony, which honored and remembered those who fought cancer.

“The rain affected a few key parts of the event—most importantly, the ‘walking’ aspect and the Luminaria Ceremony,” said Peters.

Later in the night, there was a Mr. Relay contest, where men dressed up in women’s attire and participated in a pageant.

There was also a scavenger hunt and a pancake eating contest for the relay participants late in the night.

Relay for Life has so far raised $47,314, according to Rodgers and Peters.

“Our fundraising efforts continue until August 2012, so we will not have a total of our event until then. At this point, we are expecting a total over $50,000,” said Rodgers.

Rogers and Peters both expressed hope that next year’s Relay for Life will have more participants, raise more money, and possibly be rain-free.