Cancer knows no age, gender, or board game

Brittany Battista, Advertising Manager

This year Wilkes University Relay raised $30,400 highly exceeding their goal.

A board game themed Relay for Life was held at Wilkes Saturday April 28th attracting over 400 participants committed to raising money for the American Cancer Society until 6a.m. the next morning.

“[Relay] makes something that is sad and emotional into a team building event and a community gathering,” said Jeffrey Bauman, Income Development Representative for the American Cancer Society.

Relay for Life is a global event by the American Cancer Society that celebrates survivors, remember those lost and help fight back against the disease. “Relay” is composed of teams of people who have been touched by cancer camping out in a large local area such as a park or fairground. Each team has one representative walking around a track or path at all times during the event.

This year’s participants embraced the board game theme in all aspects of their efforts. A Candy Land themed team sold an array of different baked goods to raise funds. Members of Zeta Psi, an Honor Society for nursing students, were toy soldiers. The team was dressed in camouflage shirts ready to “combat cancer.”

“Relay is a community taking up the fight against cancer, celebrating, remembering, and committing to fighting back against the disease,” Bauman said.

The Luminaria Ceremony remembers loved ones lost to the disease after dark. Candles are lit inside sand filled bags displaying a name of a person touched by cancer. After the Luminaria, the event moved to the Marts Gym for more festivities including the Mr. Wilkes contest, a pajama lap and talent show.

“I hope people realize that every dollar makes a difference,” said Bethany Sharpless, chair of Wilkes Relay for Life. “Every contribution and every person that is here is making a big difference.

This year, 400 people teamed up to raise $30,400 to support the American Cancer Society. According to Sharpless, the money raised is distributed locally for transportation to treatment and medication.