Relay for Life registrations today in the UC
Students who have always wanted to run a charitable race but don't necessarily enjoy the "running" aspect of it - or waking up before the sun - will be glad to hear about the Relay for Life.
The Relay for Life has a multi-faceted purpose under the umbrella of providing help to cancer organizations. It serves to simultaneously support those who are in the midst of a cancer battle, remember those who lost and celebrate those who won.
A member of that group is Campus Relay for Life Executive Director Alex Roubidoux, who defeated a tumor when he was in his toddler years.
"I had treatment in St. Louis - and I think St. Jude is a great organization - but it is important for people to be aware that there are more ways to stop cancer," Roubidoux said.
All the money raised at the Relay for Life goes to different cancer organizations in order to reach out to as many types of cancer as possible.
The first thing to happen at the Relay is a survivor lap. This is meant to symbolize the victory that the survivors have accomplished.
Once it gets dark outside, a memorial lap is walked.
"The Luminaria lap is for those who have passed away and also to celebrate those who have defeated it," Roubidoux said.
This ceremony involves participants buying bags and writing the name of the person they knew who battled with cancer. They then will place a candle inside the bags and have a moment of silence for those who have passed away.
The race starts at six in the afternoon and ends at six the following morning, but the lengthy relay should not intimidate interested participants.
"It's an all night walk/party with a few ceremonies," Roubidoux said. "It is not a run, it's a team event."
This is where the "relay" part of the event comes in. Each individual team member is not expected to run the entirety of the race, but to take turns with teammates.
Another positive encouragement to participants is the many events happening throughout the night.
"There are going to be different concerts and restaurants where you can eat free if you've raised $100, and there are the ceremonies," Roubidoux said.
Information and sign-ups for the event are today in the University Center from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., but students and faculty can also sign up at relayforlife.org/univofmemphis.
"Cancer never sleeps. Neither will we," Roubidoux said.
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