Pie a professor, get your car washed, buy a hot dog or devour a dessert from a team’s bake sale.
All of these above directly benefit Albion College’s Relay for Life teams, which raise awareness of the fight for a cure for cancer.
On Nov. 19 from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m., students can join the teams in the Dow to help fundraise for the American Cancer Society.
Lacie Carter, ‘11 alumna, started Strength Beyond Strength, which helps counsel Albion students that have been affected by cancer. Carter lost her mom to cancer and helped bring Relay for Life to Albion’s campus for the first time last year.
Brittany Lisjak, Rochester Hills junior, lost her grandmother to cancer and her mother is a survivor. She is responsible for overseeing all of Albion’s 15 teams, tying up loose ends, and monitoring team progress and was asked by Carter to oversee this year’s Relay.
“Last year we raised $13,000, and that’s a lot for a small campus to raise. Our goal is $15,000 this year. I really like seeing how we can make an impact on such a small campus and getting everybody else pumped up about it,” Lisjak said.
Katie Kirsch, Schoolcraft senior, also lost family members to the disease. She is responsible for logistics within the group and aids in coordinating the fundraising. So far, the teams have raised $2,600.
“I’m not running a team this year, I’m just helping organize it,” Kirsch said. “I’m enabling those other teams to fundraise.”
Relay for Life is open to all students, even if they do not have a team, as well as to the community.
“Local sponsorship is involved, but as far as community involvement goes, we have the Survivor Walk,” Kirsch said. “Anyone who has cancer or fought cancer does a lap. We also sponsor a dinner for them so they can talk about their experiences.”
Participants can expect to play games, listen to live music, and purchase food for the fundraiser. Also, people can purchase lanterns in memory of a cancer victim, which will circle the track at night during the luminary ceremony.
They’re the new girls on campus. Alexa Hyman, Hinsdale, Ill. first-year, and Arianna Leonardi, Dearborn Heights first-year, are some of the only first-years to organize a team. Their team, the Purple Zebras, has over 15 members, while most have around 10.
“I wasn’t impacted by cancer personally, but I believe that you don’t have to have a reason to do something like this,” Leonardi said. “You don’t just get involved with this because you were affected by cancer. I wanted to do it just because it’s just a good thing to do.”
Hyman lost her grandfather to cancer, but she wants to participate at Relay for Life to raise money for a cure, get involved on campus, and support cancer survivors.
“I’m doing it for the experience itself,” Hyman said. “By the end, I think we’ll feel really good that we did our part and got a team together.”
Photo courtesy of Lacie Carter