Relay for Life Underway

By SUNNY AHMED ([email protected])

Junior Carly Braden knows what it is like to fight cancer:

“When I was six I was diagnosed with leukemia and my aunt was diagnosed in 2003 and she passed away in 2007,” Braden said. “So it was hard for me because I knew what she was going through.”

Braden says that it was therefore natural for her to join Relay for life and become the vice president of the planning committee when she came to Allegheny College.

Relay for Life is a part of the nationwide association Colleges Against Cancer, a subset of the American Cancer Society.

“As a committee we collect funds all year long with proceeds going towards the care of cancer patients and the research of cancer,” said Lisa Gleason’10, president of the planning committee.

The fundraising kickoff party is scheduled to take place on Monday and is open to everyone, with a host of activities and prizes planned.

“The theme for the event is “Luau, Lei Away Cancer”; so we will be having very beachy decorations at each event,” Gleason said.

“We have relays involving little tricycles, hula-hoops and dressing in hula-skirts. We also have an awesome corn-hole game and free pizza,” said Natalie Curtis, ’12, who is on the Gaming and Activities committee.

Relay for Life raised over $35,000 last year. The goal for this year is to raise about $41,000 and make 40 teams for the main event in April.

“The participants of this [main] event form teams and one person from each team must be walking at all times,” Gleason said. “There are games and prizes given away at this one too.  For a person to sign up it is a $10 registration fee.”

The committee is hoping to have to have at least seven returning teams and one new one before winter break, in order to win the nationally-recognized Pace Setter award.   “Last year we were a few teams short, but this year we are aiming to have enough teams signed up to win the award,” Braden said.

Their other planned fundraiser events will include “Paint the Campus Purple Month” in February and also a “Rent a Friend” auction, scheduled for next semester.

“The Rent a Friend Auction is an event where students, professors and administrators are auctioned off in exchange for two hours of community service,” Gleason said.

Christian Plourd, ’12, is on the logistics committee.

“There are going to be a lot of fun games,” Plourd said. “Our slogan is ‘Lei away cancer’ so its going to be a Hawaiian theme.”

Sophomore Henry Wade is planning on attending the event.

“My mom is a cancer doctor up in Erie. Growing up she has told me stories about patients she would deal with at work and sometimes it’s little kids and sometimes it’s adults in the middle of their careers with families,” Wade said.

Wade thinks Relay for Life is a start to overcoming the threat of cancer:

“It affects everybody and I think its something society needs to come together and find a solution for. If Relay for Life can take just one small step in that direction that’s something I want to be a part of.”

The Kickoff party starts off at 7.30 on Monday in the Campus Center. For more information about Relay for Life, visit or contact Lisa Gleason at [email protected]