Relay for LifeGAMBIER, Ohio (March 19, 2007) Kenyon juniors Shawn Gulati and Kyle Packer are co-chairs of Kenyon's first-ever Relay for Life. The event, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, will be held on the indoor track of the Kenyon Athletic Center on April 13 and 14. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ending at noon on Saturday, students, faculty, staff, and community members will gather to celebrate, honor, and remember those whose lives have been touched by cancer.
"We really want to make everyone in the community feel welcome," Packer says. "Cancer is a disease that affects us all, and we all have the power to make a difference in finding a cure." Whether it's by joining a team, giving a donation, or just coming out to support the event and enjoy the atmosphere, Packer is hoping everyone will participate in some way.
Cancer survivors will be honored during a special "Survivors' Lap," to kick off the walk; anyone who would like to be included in special survivor events should contact Christina Buller, Class of 2008, at firstname.lastname@example.org. In one of the most moving portions of the relay, a candlelit ceremony Friday night will honor and remember loved ones who have fought cancer.
Gulati, Packer, and other students began organizing the event late last year. Initial goals were to have 20 teams and raise $20,000. Dozens of teams have already formed, Packer says, and fundraising efforts are proceeding well. To see up-to-the-minute totals, go to the home page of the Kenyon Relay for Life. From there, you can also find out how to sign up, search to see who's registered to walk, and even make a donation to support a walker.
Packer participated in relay last year at Georgia Tech and had a wonderful time. "My experiences with a well-established event there have really inspired me to try to bring that same excitement to the Kenyon community," he says. "What's better than doing good work while having a great time?" Personally, Packer says, he decided to be a co-chair in memory of his grandfather, who passed away from colon cancer two years ago. "He was such an inspiration in my life, and I feel like this is one small way of giving back that he would be proud of."