Relay for Life season begins

Catherine Kohl / Clarion Call

Clarion, Pa.- Colleges Against Cancer and the Clarion American Cancer Society are taking steps toward breast cancer awareness and building excitement for next April’s Relay for Life event.

On Thursday, Oct. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m., both Recognized Student Organizations set the stage for the second annual Big Pink Relay for Life event, an official offshoot program of the Relay for Life in the spring. 

Advisor of Clarion University’s Relay for Life team and Clarion American Cancer Society employee, Shannon Holzer, explained the significance of the informal kickoff for the relay season, the period of time from now until April, which will conclude with the 24-hour Relay event held in the university rec center.

“We’re here to get people motivated for the season,” said Holzer, noting the importance of the cause and how one out of eight women will develop some form of breast cancer in their lifetimes.

Holzer said, “I feel like everyone should be doing their part because cancer affects pretty much everyone here personally.” 

Holzer has personally experienced the fight with cancer when her father was diagnosed. The medication enables him to live today was actually discovered by the American Cancer Society’s research. “It’s an awesome thing,” Holzer added.

The Big Pink Relay for Life event night was centered on spreading awareness to former and incoming participants for the relay, providing fun activities to raise excitement and sell merchandise and food, an early start on fundraising for the grand Relay for Like event.

Interested students and staff also had the opportunity to register for the Relay for Life early.

A variety of events such as the “kiss cancer good-bye” booth was showcases at the event, where students literally smacked on some lipstick and kissed a large paper, showing their support.

From makeup to nail polish, many girls participated in the nail polish pink promise.  Participants could also color pictures of bras and ribbons or trace their hands to be cut out and put on the Wall for Awareness.

Another way students were able to show their support was to play pink corn hole or bra pong.  In bra pong, students threw ping pong balls into bras of various sizes for points.  The amount of points was determined by the bra size, more points for smaller cups.

A raffle for prizes was also held where students guessed the number of candy corns sitting inside a brazier without touching it.  The Relay for Life store sold merchandise of many sorts including mugs, pencils, drink holders, wristbands and shirts.  A jar surrounded by pieces of informational materials collected plain tips too.

One booth permitted students to feel a breast mold that had a tumor in it.   Nonetheless, many students came to show their support, including Ernie the Eagle who sported his own pink ribbon that said “Think Pink!”

In 2014, the Clarion American Cancer Society succeeded in raising over the intended goal of $32,000. Thursday’s event was all about building that hype again, to achieve a similar result for next year’s Big Relay for Life event.

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