Illinois senior Jason Clements has been dedicated to “Relay for Life” for 15 years, ever since his sister was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of three.
He was initially involved in his residence hall’s team, and has created his own team with a group of friends called the Zetterbeards.
“I didn’t get involved with actually fundraising and everything until freshman year at Central (Michigan),” Clements said. “I look forward most to the luminaria ceremony because a lot of times I don’t take the time to think about how much cancer impacts everyone and impacts me, and how lucky I am that my sister is still alive and moving on with everything. That gives me a moment to put everything in perspective and really understand why I’ve been raising money for months.”
This year’s “Relay for Life” at Central Michigan University begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the Indoor Athletic Complex. Students, faculty, staff, and the community are invited to the life-saving tradition practiced across the country.
The 24-hour event raises money for the American Cancer Society.
Mackenzie Guest, a junior from Rockford, has been involved in Relay for Life for 14 years.
Her mother was involved with the organization in her hometown ever since Guest was in grade school. Becoming a co-captain for her Larzelere. Hall team at CMU was simply the next logical step.
The Zetterbeards team will feature homemade smoothies and possibly a mini-stick hockey game at Relay to raise money. Those who attend Relay can expect to see the Zetterbeards and other groups, registered student organizations and Greek organizations surrounding the track in the IAC.
Relay is well-known for being a high-energy event, even into the early morning hours.
“I like just seeing all the teams show up and then seeing how their attitude at the beginning of the day and their attitude at 3:00 in the morning is exactly the same,” Guest said. “Everybody’s still got a smile on their face. It’s such a motivation at relay to keep pushing forward throughout the whole 24 hours.”
In addition to the luminaria ceremony, the event will feature a Disney prince and princess competition, as well as a reflection presentation, during which patrons can share their stories of survival and support.