As we race toward the end of this semester and the start of the spring semester, the Relay for Life committee is preparing for the big event.
Relay for Life is an event held every April when anybody whose life has been touched by cancer or anybody who wants to help can walk around the Spaulding Gym for any amount of time between 12 p.m. and 12 a.m. “The event is a celebration of life for survivors, a memorial for loved ones lost and a rally for the community to fight cancer,” reads the committee flyer.
The American Cancer Society uses Relay for Life to further raise awareness for cancer and raise money. According to the committee flyer, this money funds research, education, advocacy and patient services programs. ACS encourages everybody to get involved in this event and help the cause.
This event is primarily being planned by senior Committee Treasurer Catherine Cloutier and senior president Katelynn Kaimi. Kaimi said she does this because cancer is something that touches everybody. “We all know people who either have been affected by cancer, have had a family member with cancer or know somebody else who has had it,” said Kaimi.
Cloutier said she agrees with this and said cancer has touched her life as well. “My grandfather is a survivor so that’s why I wanted to be the survivor chair. It’s just something that hits so close to home and cancer affects everyone so this cause gives me hope that one day we can overcome it,” said Cloutier.
Cloutier also talked about the specific responsibilities that she and Kaimi have. “We’ll get fundraising from the community partners all throughout Keene; places like Best Western and others will help fundraise what we’re trying to do. We also want to get people hyped up about it, so we’ll post it on social media and have people sign up,” said Cloutier.
Seeing all the people who decide to show up is a big part of the role for Kaimi. “It’s always really powerful for me to see who turns up because we do get the on-campus organizations but we also get the personal family groups that come out. Last year we had a team of one who was walking for her mother and her sister and that was really powerful,” said Kaimi.
The event, however, is still in the preliminary stages of being planned. “We are planning out themes and how we’re going to get the community more involved because we want to grow relay every year. We’re trying to get it to be more of a community event and not just a Keene State one,” said Kaimi.
They seemed to have been successful in helping the cause grow. “Last year was my first time participating in a relay at Keene State and there was such a sense of comradery between the organizations. It took something that typically had a connotation of sadness and it made it more of a communicative sense of belonging,” said committee member Kristine Danielson.
Relay for Life will take place during April and additional information about the event can be found at www.cancer.org or by calling 800-ACS-2345.
Cristian Valentin can be contacted