Relay for Life to Raise Money for Cancer

Getting Together a Group

My daughter was the president of a club while she was in high school that participated in a local event every year which raised money for cancer victims and their families. This event is calleld Relay for Life. My daughter did most of the work but I learned a lot. The first thing that she had to do was make sure at least 10 people were wiling to be a participate and form a group. This group was made up of high school students ranging in from 15 to 18 years of age. She also needed a Chaperone for the group. I served in this capacity and also was a member of the team.  This group was really wonderful because they were so young and energetic.

The First Meeting

The group leader was responsible for attending several meetings with the American Cancer Society to make sure the team follows the guidelines regarding the event. During this meeting the Team Name is turned into the organizer for the event. The team receives an envelope to collect money in, there are door prizes given out and the banking forms are completed. This typ of meeting takes place about once a month leading up to the day of the event. At each meeting the team leader or representative turns in the money that is collected between each meeting. Prizes are given to the team that raised the most money at each meeting. These meetings are also used to bring out ideas for fundraising. There is always a little friendly competition between the teams.

Fundraising Leading Up To The Event

During the weeks leading to the event these high school students had various events to raise money such as car washes and garage sales to raise money for Relay for Life.

The Mr. Relay For Life Pageant

One of the best parts of Relay for Life is the Mr. Relay for Life Pageant.  A man representing each team participates in a beauty pageant.  The high school students really went all out for this event.  The winnner is crowned based on the amount of money raised by each participant.  There is a talent contest, an evening gown competition, a swimsuit competition and yes, even an interview section in the pageant.  There a three judges and there is a Ms Congeniality crowned.  This event is a lot of fun for all in attendance.  I make it a point to attend every year and I usually provided the evening wear for the team's contestant.  The last one I attended the respresentative from my team won the evening gown competition and got his picture in the local newspaper.

The Big Event

Sometime during the actual day of the event usually about 11:00 am the fairground opens up so that teams can set up their tents and prepare for all night events. During the day of Relay for Life there is a parade featuring survivors of cancer, motorcyclists, marching bands and high school drill teams. There is a relay across the county for cancer survivors to participate in. They pass the torch until the last runner arrives at the fairgrounds to light the torch. There is an opening ceremony. After the opening ceremony the participants can begin selling all sorts of things to raise money for the event. You can buy almost anything such as books, food items, crafts, etc. All the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. You can also play games of chance to help raise money. One year my group charged one dollar for students to play Dance Dance Revolution, the video game. Everyone has fun for a good cause.

The rules say that someone from the team must be walking around the track at all times. Thus, the name Relay for Life.

The Morning After

This events lasts until about 8:00 the next morning. About 6:00 am all funds raised throughout the night is turned in to the bankers at the event. The bankers count the money raised and announce the winning teams. There is a closing ceremony and everyone backs up to go home for a long days sleep.

I was the chaperon for this event for 6 years while my children were in high school. It was truly one of the most meaningful things I have done in my life. If you get the opportunity to participate or just go to the event, please do so. It is really a worthwhile event. Each county in most states sponsor a Relay for Life event.

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