Eighth annual Relay for Life fundraiser stepping off April 10th

Organizers for Merrimack's eighth annual Relay for Life April 10-11 are hoping to beat last year's fundraising total of $56,000 and early indications are looking good.

More than $14,000 had been pledged as of Feb. 25, said co-advisor Dan Russo, the assistant director of Student Involvement.

Russo and his co-advisor for the relay Katherine Donell, assistant director of
Stevens Service Learning Center, are working with Give to Live and the American Cancer Society to put on the fundraiser.

“It’s a walk for a cure,” Russo said. “A celebration and a walk for a cure to help fund cancer research and help survivors.”

As usual, it’s scheduled to be held on the first for of the MPR in the Sakowich Campus Center from 6 p.m. April 10 to 6 a.m. the next morning.

The relay is open to the public as well as members of the Merrimack community. There were nearly 500 participants divided among more than 40 teams last year. Walkers typically form teams so members can take turns walking or walk together during the 12-hour relay.

The MC Road Warriors made up of staff and faculty members plan to get an early jump, stepping off on the second floor track at 6 a.m. April 10 and running for 24 hours.

“Some people ran the equivalent of a marathon and I completed the equivalent of two marathons in 24 hours,” said Warren Kay, professor of religious and theological studies who was the assistant cross-country and track coach for 17 years.

Organizers are cordoning off the middle of the MPR for participants to rest during the fundraiser.

“In the middle area that’s where we set up the place where kids can bring pillows, sleeping bags, a tent if they want, to set up the area and be stationed there,” Russo said.

The relay is using a superhero theme this year so walkers will be decorating and customizing T-shirts.

Most of the relay is a fun-filled evening but there is a poignant moment for the luminaria ceremony. Students will light glow sticks in bags in memory of family or friends who have suffered or died from cancer.

“It’s an emotional time for our students then it goes back to being fun and lighthearted,” Donell said.

To sign up or to donate visit www.relayforlife.org and follow the prompts or go directly to Merrimack’s Relay for Life page >>.

Walk-ins will be able to take part just by donating $20 the night of the event.



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