On April 13 the Radford Recreation Center will be filled with members of the community and Radford University students coming together for Relay for Life.
Relay for Life is a night-long event, starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m. April 14, hosted by the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. All profits will stay within the Radford area to help cancer victims pay for treatment, provide transportation to and from clinics, and provide wigs for women receiving chemotherapy among other things. Mayor Bruce Brown is just one of the many members of the community that has been helped by Relay for Life, according to Thomas Smals, chairman of the event and junior at RU.
The registration fee is $10, and that mainly covers the cost of a Relay for Life T-shirt, Smals said. Participants can register as a team or by themselves. Each team has a team leader that heads all of the fundraising.
Jessica Mills, RU Class of 2010, has been involved with Relay for Life for 8 years, two of which she spent as a captain for Zeta Tau Alpha’s team. Mills, like many participants, has loved ones affected by cancer and came up with a variety of ways to raise money to help her team.
“I had change buckets at local stores, had dinners in local restaurants, sold pretzel dough and lemonade, even hosted car washes,” Mills said.
Recently, Radford’s chapter of Relay for Life started the “Purple Potty” donation fundraiser. If you see a purple toilet on your lawn or in front of your dorm, in order to remove it you must make a donation to Relay for Life. Once you make a donation, you get to choose where the “potty” sits next. The “Purple Potty” will be visiting the RU campus dorms and moving around campus as residents donate money.
The amount of members each team can have is unlimited; the largest team currently registered has 98 members. The goal for fundraising this year is $45,000, and as of Thursday, they had $23,471.
It’s not too late to register to join Radford’s Relay for Life. Registration is open until the doors open the night of the event at 6 p.m. However, Smals recommends that people wishing to participate register before what he calls “Bank Tuesday,” the final meeting before the event, where many team captains turn in the majority of the money their team has raised. “Bank Tuesday” is open to all participants and refreshments will be served at the event held in the Radford Recreation Center.
The event will feature a “camp out” style evening where participants are encouraged to bring sleeping bags and pillows, but most people don’t sleep because of the variety of activities available to participants. There will be a 60-foot blow-up obstacle course and a bounce house.
“It’s the biggest bounce house I could find,” Smals said.
Two bands, a guitar soloist and two competitive dance teams will be among the entertainment for the night. Food from Taco Inn, Domino’s and BTO’s will be sold, and Atmos Energy will sell hamburgers.
Student Goverment Association Vice President Brittni Hammond starts her ninth year with Relay for Life this year.
“Back in high school it was more of a social thing and everyone attended,” Hammond said. “Now I just love motivating other people in the community to come together for such an amazing cause.”
For the past 4 years, Hammond has been a team captain at RU. This year she even was on the planning committee.
As of Thursday there are 49 teams registered, and each team is working to raise the remaining $21,529 needed to reach Radford’s goal. For more information on participating, joining a team, or starting a team, check out the event’s website.