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Mark your calendars as this year’s Relay for Life will take place April 25 at the Hollinger Field House from noon until midnight.
“Essentially, it’s a 12-hour fundraising walk that raises money for the American Cancer Society,” said Erin Pavillard, a member of the Colleges Against Cancer chapter at WCU. “We have different themes each year and we try to keep the activities going so no one gets bored. This year, it’s a Disney theme. We’re hoping people will dress up and come in costume and make the afternoon and evening fun and interesting.”
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WCU’s Relay For Life is one of the university’s largest on-campus events each year, drawing 500 to 600 participants, and with it being the 10th anniversary, the planners are hoping to have an even larger number.
“Right now, we have just under 300 people signed up, though we still have a month to go,” Pavillard said. “Hopefully the number will double for us.”
To go along with this year’s theme, Disney movies will be playing throughout the 12-hour event.
Though that’s currently the only themed event happening, there will still be plenty of other activities happening throughout the day and night.
“We have a kick boxing hour planned in the event,” Pavillard said. “We also have a Zumba hour planned and a little dodgeball tournament for somewhere between two to three hours. That goes over really well.”
Also planned is a karaoke and a dance hour where all the lights are turned off in the gymnasium, where a dance party ensues.
Anyone in attendance can participate in any or all of the activities. They can walk as long as they want or even not do a single lap if they so choose.
“Participants are welcome to walk as many laps as they want,” Pavillard said. “You don’t have to walk any if you don’t want to. We are there to do laps and it is symbolic representation of why we’re there, that cancer never sleeps. That’s’ the whole motivation behind Relay For Life.”
A special event which takes place at 5:30 p.m. is when cancer survivors walk a lap, followed by a survivor’s dinner at 6.
With all that is going on during the 12 hours, a lot of planning has to happen beforehand, and that’s handled by a 12-person committee.
“We really plan all semester for this, even during the fall semester,” Pavillard said. “During that fall semester, we’re always doing minor events to start raising money for it. Our executive board committee is made up of 12 people and it really takes a lot of effort tot figure out from what we’re going to do about getting food to feed these people to what we’re going to have planned to keep them entertained.
“It really takes the 12 people that we have to plan and it takes a lot of thought. A lot of heart is put into planning our event each year, especially this year since it’s our 10th year. We really want it to be amazing.”
For more information on the event or to donate or sign up to participate, please visit www.relayforlife.org/pawestchester.