Make Way For The Relay

Allyssa Gauer, Columnist

Relay for Life, a run in which students can enjoy time at their school while raising money for cancer, won’t be back at Horizon Honors until March, but that doesn’t mean the students involved aren’t preparing now. The people making this possible are the Relay for Life Leadership team, and they host this event once every year. The leadership team is comprised of many high school students, including juniors Kate Wilson and Burke Wood. The first ever Relay for Life hosted at Horizon Honors was two years ago on Feb. 19, 2016, and since then it has become a tradition in the Horizon Honors Community.

The Horizon Sun: Why do you host Relay for Life every year?

Kate Wilson: Student Council, with massive support from our school and extended community, hosts Relay for Life every year to support all of those who are affected by cancer, whether that be through experiencing a diagnosis, being a caregiver, or simply wanting to make a difference.

The Horizon Sun: What are the steps you take to set up Relay for Life? How long does that take?

KW: While our day-of setup is fairly extensive, most of our logistical setup happens in our weekly Event Leadership Team meetings, where we delegate responsibilities and plan out the event in advance as a student group. We start planning the event at the beginning of the school year (August) for an event happening in March because it is such an extensive undertaking.

The Horizon Sun: About how many students show up?

KW: Last year, we had over 200 students, parents, teachers, and community members come to our event, which was a great turnout! Our goal for this year is to hopefully reach 300!

The Horizon Sun: What’s different about this year’s Relay compared to previous years?

KW: This year our ELT is focused on the involvement of our entire K-12 community, especially our Elementary side! We will be doing more in-school fundraisers to raise even more money for the cause, and in-class fundraising goals for the younger students and Relay Fun Runs throughout the day for them! And of course, even more fun activities at the event, along with memorable ceremonies that are very traditional to the event.

The Horizon Sun: How did Relay for Life start?

KW: Relay for Life originated with Dr. Gordon Klatt, a surgeon who wanted to raise money for cancer, who walked around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Eventually the event caught on, and grew to the huge fundraiser for ACS that it is today. At our school, it started over two years ago with an idea within our Student Council for our community service project, and with lots of support, we did the event with much success the first year! We are very excited to be planning our third year right now!

There are a variety of events taking place at Relay for Life. To start off is the opening ceremony, where they take time to appreciate all the the people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Then there are many walks honoring people with certain types of cancer and their bravery, such as the Survivor Walk and the Luminaria Ceremony. The closing ceremony is the final event, which is a time to celebrate the fight against cancer and to thank everybody for donating to help find a cure.

This year’s Relay for Life will take place on March 9, 2018, however, registration is now open, so make sure to stop by and enjoy the activities. Whether it’s with a group of friends or just by yourself, register to help fight cancer by coming to the Horizon Honors Relay for Life!