Kent State to host Relay for Life


Individuals supporting family members and friends came together to form the Rising Star team in this year’s Relay for Life event held at Dix Field House, Saturday and Sunday.

Justin Niedenthal

Kent State’s annual Relay for Life will be held Friday, April 29 at the Kent State Field House from 6 p.m. on Friday until noon Saturday. This year, President Beverly Warren will be giving an opening address to kick off the ceremony. 

According to the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life has raised more than $5 billion to help fund cancer research since its inception in 1985. As of April 25, Kent State’s raised $27,035. (59 teams and 1,571 participants.)

“Most people only come for a few hours … and make a donation, but others are extremely dedicated and only stop walking to eat drink and use the facilities” said Evan Branzel, a senior communication studies major, who has helped with Relay for Life every year since coming to Kent State and is now an officer.

Although each Relay for Life has its own individual setup, each event maintains three key components that are explained on the Relay for Life webpage.

First, there is the survivor’s lap when “ … all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer while cheered on by the other participants who line the track.”

Next, “the Luminaria Ceremony takes place after dark, so we can remember people we have lost to cancer, honor people who have fought cancer in the past and support those whose fight continues.”

Finally, The Fight Back Ceremony symbolizes the emotional commitment each of us can make in the fight against cancer. The action taken represents what we are willing to do for ourselves, for our loved ones and for our community to fight cancer year-round and to commit to saving lives.

An American Cancer Society app keeps track of fundraising including individual goals, team goals and overall organization goals. Different social groups on campus form teams and participate in raising money for both team goals and individual goals.  

“Kent Communication Society teaming up with Relay for Life is a great way to show our schools effort and support for such an important and amazing cause,” said Kaylee McLaughlin, a senior communication studies major and KCS member.  

Relay for Life will be circus-themed this year with events ranging from Cirque De Sol relay to the twin relay and even a Disney-themed lap.

“Our first fundraiser will be a pie-in-the-face stand for students and  faculty on the 28th from 1 to 4 on the esplanade. We will also be hosting a big sale and passing out carnival-themed name tags for people who have lost loved ones to cancer,” said Crystal Satterfield, a senior communication studies major helping with Relay for life.  

Justin Niedenthal is a social services for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].