By ALEX RIESE
On March 20 and 21, students at Conestoga College will participate in a Relay for Life to aid in the fight against cancer.
The event is part of the 2015 Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life activities hosted by students living in residency across Ontario. Collectively, $45,000 has been raised to date by seven colleges in the province. Krista Young, a Conestoga student who lives in residence, is the local event’s primary organizer. She hopes to replicate the accomplishments of these other colleges.
“I really wanted to see something happen at Conestoga that the college could do every year,” she said.
Participants will be running laps in teams of up to 10 around the indoor track at the college’s rec centre. They will also participate in meaningful ceremonies, enjoy food, festivities and entertainment, connect with cancer survivors and learn about cancer prevention. The event will run from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Young has set a goal of getting 100 participants involved while raising a total of $20,000. Donations are accepted in cash, by pledging or by donating online.
Interested parties can sign up until the first day of the event at www.relayforlife.ca/conestogacollege. There is no cost to sign up, but the onus will be on individual runners to raise money for the initiative.
Josée Dupee, also a Conestoga student and the event co-chair, has been involved with various Relay for Life activities for five years. She has a personal reason for getting involved with the cause.
“Both my grandparents have passed away from cancer, and my dad is currently battling it,” she said.
The first Relay for Life occurred in 1985, when Dr. Gordy Platt walked and ran around a track for 24 hours in Tacoma, Wash. He raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. Fourteen years later, the first Canadian Relay for Life raised $85,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. The event has been held ever since.