Relay for Life has new location, same cancer-fighting goal

This Saturday at 11 a.m. will mark the beginning of a 24-hour relay to “Strike Out Cancer.” This year’s Relay for Life, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, has been moved to Medlar Field from its previous location at the agriculture fields on Orchard Road. Fifteen cancer survivors and 1,000 “relayers” from 120 teams will occupy the new spot for the event.

“The change in location allowed us to rework the schedule, and the participants will really enjoy all that we have planned,” says Jane Bridwell, overall events co-director.

Bridwell, a senior majoring in management, shared some of the planned events and activities that will keep relayers occupied during the 24 hour walk-a-thon. In addition to fundraisers, dance parties and commemorations, Bridwell says there will be a Big Ten Tailgate. Planned to start at noon, right after the relay begins, the tailgate will feature a game representing each Big Ten school.

“For example, for Ohio State, people will have to sit on bubble wrap as if they are crushing the Buckeyes,” Bridwell explains.

Annual events with more serious tones will take place as well. Luminaries will be lit to remember victims, and cancer survivors will be recognized in another ceremony in which each survivor is introduced and given a purple blow-up bat, Bridwell says.

Saturday night from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. will feature a few local bands, followed by the Relay Rave starting at 2 a.m. Relayers will each receive a rave bag that includes a number of different light-up trinkets. They will be instructed when to use which one and what to do with it to create a light show in the middle of the night, Bridwell says. She jokes that it’s a “nighttime instructional dance party.”

Sunday morning events will include the Fight Back Ceremony to raise awareness and advocacy, as well as a car smash for participants to “beat” cancer. All of these events and activities are free, so anyone can come and enjoy all the fun that Relay has to offer.

Bridwell says she hopes to see Relay grow and one day raise $1 million. She says she wants people to find their own niche in Relay and would love to see the Greek community increase its involvement even more.

“Relay is about your story with cancer. It’s about your friends and family that you want to remember and celebrate,” she says.

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