Relay for Life to host second pandemic event


Courtesy / GVSU

Elizabeth Schanz

Even with COVID-19, Grand Valley State University will have the opportunity to come together from March 28 to April 2 with a series of events to benefit Relay for Life. The proceeds made in this event will go to support the work of the American Cancer Society.

The most successful Relay for Life Fundraiser has raised $100,000. Although the 2021 event looks different than other years, there are many opportunities to fundraise and make a difference in the community. 

Amanda Moore, a major organizer for this event, talked about the importance of the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life’s purpose. 

“The event has a positive impact on community members who are battling cancer because the money raised is used to provide resources that make their journey a little bit easier,” said Moore. 

Students will have the opportunity to partake in this event in multiple ways. One way is joining a Facebook event called Relay for Life 2021, where content throughout the week will be posted including games and videos. Students can also participate in club teams or make their own to fundraise throughout the week. 

Alpha Sigma Tau (AST), a sorority at GVSU, is a major contributor to Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. In the winter semester of 2019, AST raised $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year, their team is currently leading other GVSU teams with $8,000 raised thus far, and they are still hoping to reach their fundraising goal of $12,000.

Mirana Bette, the current Relay for Life team leader for Alpha Sigma Tau, works to create events and involvement in order to reach their fundraising goals. 

“One of our favorite events is a dance workout class called ‘GROOVE for a Cure,'” Bette said. “This year, we were successfully able to hold this event over Zoom.” 

In previous years, the AST team sold donuts in the weeks leading up to the relay at Kirkhof, as well as what they call walking “TAUcos” at the in-person event. This year, the team still is active through social media fundraising. 

This event connects students within the GVSU community as well as the larger community. The event encourages campus engagement through participation in the events and uniting individuals under a common cause. 

“The environment was very positive and encouraging as we were all gathered for one purpose: to raise money for the fight,” Bette said. “Now, many organizations will be intertwined as we attend virtual events together.”

In addition to the virtual events, Relay for Life will continue to hold its annual luminaria ceremony. This will take place on Tuesday, March 30th at 8 p.m. at the Cook Carillon clock tower to honor those battling cancer.