Students, families, community members, cancer survivors and many more came together at the Klotsche Center last week for UW-Milwaukee’s fourth annual Relay for Life.
The event, which is organized through Colleges Against Cancer, had over 400 participants, 55 teams and raised more than $36,000. In the past four years, UW-Milwaukee’s Relay for Life has raised more than $100,000 for the fight to end cancer.
Relay for Life is a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, where survivors are celebrated and lost lives are remembered.
Many came to the event to support loved ones who have or overcame cancer, while many others support the ACS mission to end cancer.
“There is nothing more rewarding than being able to bring people together for a cause I believe in,” said Colleges Against Cancer President Shelby Puppe.
Puppe, along with Co-Presidents Ashley Matter, Casey Griebel and ACS Staff Partner Chronda Higgins, worked together to set up the event. Participants could battle it out in a lip sync competition or frozen tee-shirt contest, listen to a live DJ, or visit cancer and general health informational booths. Food was donated by many sponsors, including Sal’s Pizza and Buffalo Wild Wings on Water Street.
The night kicked off with a monumental survivors’ lap around the track, who were later joined by caregivers. Everyone joined in for one group lap to officially start the relay.
The rest of the night was followed by games, dancing and the luminaria ceremony. During the ceremony, participants decorated bags for loved ones lost because of cancer. All of the bags were lined around the track.
“It was really touching because I lost my aunt to cancer,” said freshman and participant, Angelina Lanser. “It was cool seeing all of the bags that everyone made for their families.”
After the luminaria ceremony, participants were back at the fun. The event ended at 1 a.m. after committee members revealed the grand total of the donations that had been collected throughout the year: $36,093.
“It was awesome just coming together with others to fight cancer,” Lanser said. “I can’t wait to do this again next year.”