Mary Baldwin University students will be awake all night Friday, March 26. This all-nighter won’t be to write a paper or study for an exam. It’s to raise $25,000 for cancer research, educational programs, and services for cancer patients and their families.
The first American Cancer Society Relay for Life at Mary Baldwin kicks off at the Physical Activities Center Track Field. The 13-hour fundraiser will run from 6 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday. Students, faculty, staff and Staunton-area residents will form teams to walk around the track and spend the night enjoying games, live entertainment, and other spirited activities. Local businesses have donated items to be used as door prizes.
Relay teams consist of eight to 15 people. One member at a time walks or runs around the track relay style. Teams make a commitment to having one member on the track at all times. Every relay consists of a survivor’s lap and a luminaria ceremony. Students, in teams, have raised money through projects and, individually, have solicited pledges for each lap they complete around the college track.
The Mary Baldwin Relay does not conflict with the Staunton/Waynesboro/Augusta County Community Relay, which has been held for the last several years and will be held again this year at Wilson Memorial High School. “All the money raised will go to the Mid-Atlantic Division’s total as a whole, so whatever Mary Baldwin raises benefits everyone in the region,” explains Christina Daniel, access services coordinator for Mary Baldwin’s Grafton Library. “One of the school’s goals has been to have Mary Baldwin more involved in the community, and I can’t think of a better event to do so.”
The first Relay for Life was held in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington. Today, Relay for Life is held in about 3,000 communities and raises more than $240 million. It is the single largest nonprofit fundraising event in the nation.