Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
On May 3, Relay for Life at the Baptist Cancer Center in Oxford takes a step toward funding cancer research. This is the second Relay for Life event of the spring for this area.
Residents still have time to sign up online to create a team or join an existing team. The other option is to simply attend the event in support of people already participating.
“It’s never too late to get involved,” said Vic Sullivan, community representative for the American Cancer Society.
The Relay will begin at 6 p.m. and will go through the night.
Last month, Ole Miss students kicked off a Relay event April 19 on the Lyceum circle. Teams of participants walked laps, sponsored by donors, to support cancer research.
Ole Miss teams representing many campus organizations set up tents to sell food and offer games at the event to help raise more money. The team representing Sigma Phi Lambda was one of several that also got local restaurants involved.
“We worked with Bistro Burger and Twisters and McAllisters on certain days and we got a certain percent of the proceeds from that day. We were over what we shot to raise, so we did really well,” said Kim Barfield, a member the Sigma Phi Lambda team.
At least one team went about raising money in a less traditional manner. The University of Mississippi School of Nursing set up a game in which participants attempted to throw plastic balls into underwear nailed to a board. The game was titled Bra-pong.
Overall, the Ole Miss teams raised more than $50,000 this year, but Amy Goodin, a member of the team for the Center for Manufacturing Excellence, said Relay for Life is about more than raising money.
“One of the things I think Relay is really good is raising awareness for how many people are actually affected by cancer because it gets people involved. People you wouldn’t expect are really passionate about Relay for Life and looking for a cure.”
A key part of Relay for Life’s impact is the luminaria ceremony. During the ceremony, luminaria are lit in honor of cancer survivors or in memory of a person who has died from cancer.
For many, this was a solemn ceremony to reflect on their experiences, and it ended with a silent lap around the Lyceum circle.
Despite the moments of reflection, the event is primarily upbeat, according to Relay committee member Lindsay Wincel.
“The overall motto of Relay for Life is, ‘Remember, Celebrate, and Fight Back.’”
Relay for Life spokesperson Lindsay Wincel talks about the purpose of the luminaria.