Kristen Mitchell / Lantern photographer
Ohio State raised more than $115,000 during its 10th annual Relay for Life over the weekend that benefitted the American Cancer Society and celebrated the lives of those who have lost the battle with cancer.
The 24-hour event kicked off at noon Saturday. Families, friends and co-workers formed teams and camped-out for the entire 24 hours at Lincoln Tower Fields.
“The idea is to have somebody from your team walking around the track at all times to symbolize that cancer never sleeps,” said Sarah Zorko, co-president of OSU’s Relay for Life chapter and fourth-year in molecular genetics and international studies.
Although teams are not required to walk or run the track for the entire 24 hours, Zorko said it is meant to get participants involved and have them feel motivated.
Samantha Borchers, a third-year in accounting, said she planned on walking for the entire time.
“We’ve been here since 11:30 and we’ll be here for the full 24-hours so we’ll get in our walking for the day. We’re not done just yet,” Borchers said.
Relay For Life raised more than $115,000 this year, similar to last year’s $119,000. This year’s total is not yet final.
Zorko said that in its 10 years at OSU, Relay for Life has raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.
Aside from walking the track, attendees were offered various forms of entertainment for the duration of the event. Activities ranged from free swing dance lessons from the Swing Dance Club at OSU, karaoke and a visit from Fishbowl Improv, among others.
“We have more than one thing going on the entire 24 hours to make sure that everybody is involved and doesn’t get bored,” Zorko said.
Katie Breier, a first-year in medical laboratory science, said that despite the gloomy weather, she attended the event to remember her father who lost his battle with colon cancer.
“A lot of people in my family have had (cancer), and so I’ve always wanted to get involved with it,” Breier said. “It’s just great for people to come out and walk for 24 hours in the rain and the cold.”
Different student groups around campus set out tents selling baked goods and hot beverages for all attendees.
Brianna French, a second-year in exploration and president of Phi Delta Epsilon, an international medical fraternity, said her fraternity raised about $2,400 through donations from members of their community, friends and family.
“Obviously cancer is a big disease and we’re a pre-medical fraternity so we’re really passionate about that,” French said. “We just want to step up and do something good for the community.”
Zorko said all the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society and the money will be distributed to cancer research, patient support programs, advocacy and cancer education.