Relay For Life aims to raise awareness

Samantha Belcher

Grand Valley State University’s Colleges Against Cancer organization is hosting the 10th-annual Relay for Life fund raiser April 13 to 14 in the Fieldhouse Arena. The actual relay event will take place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., but teams can start setting up tents at 4 p.m. and the Survivor Banquet begins at 3:30 p.m.

“It is a community event to offer support for others,” said Jessica Page, president of Colleges Against Cancer.

Page said about 1,500 people are signed up to participate so far, but usually the amount of people that actually attend is much greater.

Sarah Roper, vice president of CAC, said about 2,500 people are expected to attend.

“So many people are affected by cancer that they [the participants] want to go,” Roper said adding that this is one of the biggest campus events at GVSU.

According to GVSU’s Relay for Life website, 102 teams have signed up so far ranging from Campus Dining and the Grand Valley Police Department, to the GVSU football program and many fraternities and sororities.

“[The event is] a great way to bring the campus community together,” said Savanna Rayner, American Cancer Society staff partner to CAC.

Roper said the CAC hopes to raise $107,000 for the American Cancer Society this year. At last year’s event, more than $100,000 was donated to the organization.

However, the event is not only about raising money, but also supporting each other, Page said.

During the Relay for Life, many events will take place to entertain the participants, like the performance of GVSU’s A Cappella group GrooVe at the Survivor Banquet.

Alison Haney, music director for GrooVe, said this is a great way for college students to help people in need, and she added that she hopes the people affected by cancer know the GVSU community supports them.

As part of the fundraiser, GVSU will also host a Fear Factor event, Fight Back ceremony and Mr. Relay pageant, which allows men to dress up as women and compete against one another.

“[Students should participate] because cancer affects everyone,” Romper said. “It’s a great cause, and a lot of fun.”

The Colleges Against Cancer organization has about 70 active members that will be volunteering at the event.

“I hope that we have more participation than ever and raise more money than last year,” Roper said.

Sign-ups are still open for participation in the relay. For more information visit

[email protected]