Key Club relays for cancer-free life

Karaoke, cross-dressing, and togas – all in the span of 12 hours. This sounds like a wild night in Vegas or a drunken college party, but these are actually just a few of the things that happened at Relay for Life on March 28-29 at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center at Iowa State University. The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a 12 hour relay for cancer research and prevention. “Relay for Life is a way to honor those with cancer or those who have lost their lives to cancer,” said junior Kaity Brien, who captained one of the teams. “It is also a way to take action to eradicate cancer in the future.” The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2008, there will be more than one million new cases of cancer in the United States. “The cause of fighting cancer is very important to me,” Brien said. “I have family members who have fought cancer, and most people will be affected by cancer at sometime in their lives.” Since cancer is a prevalent problem in daily life, the Ames High Key Club sent two teams to the relay. Last year Key Club partnered with DECA to send a team. “With two teams, there is the opportunity to fundraise more than last year,” Brien said. “The fundraising built excitement and anticipation, and then the relay is like a reward of all of the hard work.” Even though the event was sponsored by companies like Mediacom and Cold Stone Creamery, teams like Key Club raised money in other ways. There was also fundraising at the relay. At the relay, there were various activities and themed laps during the 12 hours. Activities ranged from karaoke to fighting in inflatable boxing rings, while the themed laps included school spirit, togas, gender bending, and Hawaiian boxing. “I liked the gender bending lap because I was able to wear my mustache,” said junior Katie Williams. “I also liked playing basketball.” The luminaria was one of the more serious moments at Relay for Life. Around the edge of the track, there were bags with names of cancer victims on them and lights inside. During the luminaria, the overhead lights were turned off and the names were read out loud. “Hearing all of the names of people affected by cancer brings home the reason of why we are here,” Brien said. “But seeing all of the people walking on the track brings a sense of hope to what would otherwise be a very sad event.”