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Striding To A Cure

Relay for Life hosted its first event in 1985 and has since helped save over 1.5 million lives.

Relay for Life hosted its first event in 1985 and has since helped save over 1.5 million lives.

Trenton Kapij, Reporter

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Racers are running for more than first place when they participate in Relay for Life. The event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, helps raise funds and awareness for cancer research across the country.

This year’s Relay for Life will be held at Lafayette High School, on May 20 at 7 p.m. Participants will then take turns walking or running laps around the track to raise funds for cancer research and raise awareness for the disease. Since its birth in 1985, the Relay for Life event has raised over $5 billion, which has gone towards funding cancer research and supporting patients.

One aspect that makes Relay for Life unique is that, instead of participating as an individual, the racers form teams and work together to keep the event going for a full 24 hours. They do this by always having one representative from their groups running or walking, while all the others camp out in tents that are pitched in the beginning of the event. This causes the event to become more about working together to achieve a common goal – to end cancer – and to build a sense of community, instead of individual achievement.

Last year, sophomore Owen Barry participated in the event and said that it built a sense of community at JHS, and all of Williamsburg, because,”It brings together people from all of the schools.”

The Relay for Life event in Williamsburg has already raised over $39,000, according to Relay for Life’s website, an amount likely to grow before the event’s start. “It definitely raises money for it,” sophomore Ross Wunibald said. The money raised is used for  cancer research, patient support, and other services involved in spreading awareness and prevention strategies for cancer.

Relay for Life hosts more than 6,000 events, each year, throughout the United States. According to cancer.org, the money raised during these events has helped save over 1.5 million lives.

“These events spread awareness because it shows us how people care for those with cancer and how much they want to stop it,” sophomore Sam Vantasel said.

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Striding To A Cure