More than 600 members of the Drake University community will join in a 12-hour walk to raise money for cancer research and treatment on March 30 and 31. Drake’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer is hosting its annual Relay for Life, a fundraiser that last year drew 470 registered participants and raised more than $23,000.
This year’s walk will draw participants from at least 63 registered teams and will be held from 6 p.m. Friday, March 30, to 6 a.m. Saturday, March 31 in Drake’s Fieldhouse, 2701 Forest Ave. Sid Singh, president of Drake’s Colleges Against Cancer, said he expects participants to raise much more money this year than last.
"Teams have already raised $8,000 from sponsors online, and they’re also fundraising through cash and checks on the side," Singh said. "If people are fundraising like last year, then most of our money will come in at the event itself."
Sign-in for the event begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 30, and will be followed by an opening ceremony and entertainment that includes a dance squad performance and appearance by Drake’s mascot, Spike the Bulldog. A luminary ceremony from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. features three speakers who have personally experienced cancer or lived with someone who battled it: Dr. Doug Hillman, the Aliber distinguished professor of accounting at Drake; Alyssa Weiss, a student cancer survivor; and Lisa Bishop, a sophomore biochemistry and microbiology major who lost her grandfather to prostate cancer and whose mother is a cancer survivor.
“This event means a lot to me,” Bishop said. “It is a time to celebrate how medicine involving cancer has developed and grown and also a time to celebrate those around us who have or are suffering from cancer. My mother is a cancer survivor and it means so much to be able to go and walk in light of her, and all she has done, and all she has overcome. I also lost my grandfather last year to cancer so it is a time to reflect on his impact in my life.”
The evening’s events include comedian Mad Chad from 8:30 to 10 p.m., the D-Squad dance team from 11 to 11:30 p.m. and Des Moines-based indie rock band Milkwar from 11:30 p.m. to midnight. The walk will conclude on Saturday, March 31, with a breakfast from 5 to 5:30 a.m. and closing ceremony from 5:30 to 6 a.m.
To speed up the sign-in process at the walk, participants can bring their check and cash donations to Pomerantz Stage on Thursday, March 29, from 4 to 5 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m. Individuals or teams of eight or more can register at www.relayforlifeofdrake.com until the day of the event.