More than 450 people representing 47 teams from Drake University will set out on the Fieldhouse track this week for a 12-hour walk to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society.
The Drake University Relay for Life will take place from 6 p.m. Friday, April 7, to 6 a.m. Saturday, April 8, in the Fieldhouse, 2701 Forest Ave.
Opening ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Then at 8 p.m. there will be a ceremony paying tribute to those who have been affected by cancer. Luminaries will be lighted with electric lights and kept burning through the night to represent the healing power of the community and the importance of finding a cure for cancer
The Drake Dance team will perform at 8:30 p.m. and the Drake band Milkwar will play at 9 p.m. Additional activities will include movies and games as well as special programs sponsored by the Drake Residence Hall Association. Refreshments have been donated by businesses such as Iowa Bakery Cafe, Jimmy John’s, Mars Cafe, Planet Sub and Coca Cola Co.
“We are all involved because we all have been affected by cancer in some way,” said Sid Singh, coordinator of the event and president of the Drake chapter of Colleges Against Cancer. “We have already raised more than $6,000 for the Drake Relay for Life and we expect the 47 teams to substantially increase the total amount we’ll be contributing to the American Cancer Society.”
Relay for Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordon Klatt ran and walked on a track in Tacoma, Wash., for 24 hours. Klatt covered a distance of 81 miles in that time and raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. Klatt’s effort inspired the annual Relay for Life events across the United States. Since 1985, the American Cancer Society has received $1.5 billion through sponsorships and donations from participants.
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