Relay for Life, a 12-hour walk held by Rockhurst University and UMKC students lastt Friday night, raised $57,199.58 for the American Cancer Society.
The event , held in the lower Bourke field at Rockhurst, began with recognition of participating cancer survivors and caregivers. At 6 p.m., survivors were asked to take the first lap and caregivers joined them for the second lap.
Finally, everybody was asked to participate for the third lap, kicking off the overnight event. There were 55 teams and each was required to have at least one member walking at all times. Resting spots were set up at campsites on the field.
Games and activities were available for participants when they were not walking.
“A lot of people think you just go there and walk,” said Lynsey Riemann, Rockhurst student and activities and entertainment chair, “but it’s much more than that. It’s a lot of fun.”
Her committee’s activities included two live bands, a face painter, a caricature artist, volleyball, a DJ and numerous games.
This was the second year the event was organized jointly by Rockhurst and UMKC.
“Almost everybody has been affected by cancer in one way or another,” said UMKC Chair Craig Flanery. “A lot of people come together to fight against it.”
Participants who wanted to remember or honor those who have battled cancer could purchase a luminaria bag. They could customize their bags with decorations, and at 10p.m., they put glow sticks in the bag, lighting up the track.
At 1 a.m., the “fight back” ceremony began. Each team was given a balloon and members were encouraged to write how they were going to fight cancer. Responses ranged from getting a mammogram to wearing sunscreen. Participants then cut the ribbons to the balloons and let them go.
Each participant was encouraged to fundraise. The top fundraisers were:
- Christina Hayes – $4,765
- Kim Patterson – $3,784
- Taylor Skala – $2,500