For 12 hours Saturday, April 11, the Kenyon community will take up the fight against cancer by learning Irish dancing and participating in a Project Runway-style event, among many other activities at Relay for Life. The annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society honors cancer survivors and victims, and brings the campus together to raise money to find a cure. Relay for Life takes place from noon to midnight in the Kenyon Athletic Center on the Toan Indoor Track.
The Relay Committee chairs are Hannah Laub ’16, a sociology major from Charlottesville, Virginia, and Evie Kennedy ’17, a psychology major from Nashville, Tennessee, who have both held various positions on the committee before. “When I got to Kenyon and saw the sign-up for the Relay For Life committee, I thought it would be a great opportunity to channel my emotion into something productive,” said Kennedy, whose best friend lost both his parents to cancer during high school. “My aunt Sarah is a breast cancer survivor as well, so this year I am dedicating my fundraising efforts to her. She is an amazingly strong woman and a great role model.”
Events at Relay this year include themed laps around the track and fun events for all ages, bubble soccer and a pie-eating contest. A survivors lap will accompany the opening ceremony, and the luminaria ceremony will be held at 8:30 p.m., followed by a luminaria lap. “The luminaria ceremony is a beautiful opportunity to come together as a community and remember those we have lost,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy will teach Irish dance — which she has been studying since she was 10 — at 4:30 p.m. “I'm hoping that people enjoy learning some fun, easy dance steps,” she said.
In 2013, Kenyon Relay For Life raised about $70,000, topping its goal by more than $20,000. Last year the event raised roughly $58,000, a number the committee has also set for this year’s goal. So far, with 27 teams and 285 participants, over $23,000 has been raised. “Our fundraising has been a bit slower than usual this year, as we have had trouble getting the campus as excited about Relay as we have been able to in the past,” Kennedy said. She encourages more of the community to get involved. “Even if you're not directly connected to someone battling cancer, it's worth coming to support your multitude of classmates who have lost parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends,” she said. “Plus, it's really fun.”
Donations can be made and luminarias can be dedicated online by going to http://relayforlife.org/kenyoncollege or via checks made out to the American Cancer Society and mailed to Kenyon College Relay for Life, 5555 Frantz Rd., Dublin, Ohio, 43017. Donations will be accepted until June.
By Madeleine Thompson '15