By Kyra Wex –
Nepean High School’s signature fundraising event, Relay For Life (RFL), is just around the corner. RFL offers those who participate more than fun activities, a long walk, and a baton pass; it is a memorable experience that impacts all those who choose to become engaged.
High schools and universities across Canada show their support for those with cancer, and survivors of cancer, by raising awareness and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. This year Nepean’s Relay For Life takes place on May 18.
This fundraiser runs for twelve hours: from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., but preparation for RFL begins weeks ahead of time. Groups of friends get together to form teams, which usually range from about six to 10 people. There’s a creative twist: each team comes up with a team name and a costume.
Maya Seymore and Michael Dans, both grade twelve students, are this year’s leaders of RFL.
“From my experience last year I saw how the students filled the day with their energy, spirit, and support,” says Michael. “It is amazing to be part of this fundraiser. The experience of RFL brings the NHS community and the Canadian Cancer Society community together. I can’t wait to see the excitement people have for this year and the support we can show.”
It is a long day for participants, beginning with registration and set up. Music, activities, food, speeches from cancer survivors and RFL leaders fill the day and evening, and at least one person from each team must be walking around the track at all times.
Traditionally, RFL participants enjoy a pizza dinner before the luminary ceremony begins.
“The luminary ceremony is a touching and beautiful part of the event that allows for meaningful reflection,” says Michael.
Throughout the day, decorated paper bags – many of which are dedicated to those battling cancer or for those who have survived – are lit and placed along the track. Once the sun sets, these bags glow and illuminate the field. Students, parents, teachers, those battling cancer, and survivors walk along the path. Everyone in the NHS community is welcome to attend. This is the part of RFL that captures the emotions of everyone. “Powerful and moving,” are the two words Michael uses to explain this part of the day.
After the luminary ceremony, the night wraps up with a talent show. “Students participate with singing, guitar, dances, tricks and many more entertainment acts to conclude the evening,” says Michael.
Last year Nepean High School reached their goal of $42,000. This year, organizers hope to stretch their goal and raise $50,000.
Everyone in the NHS community is welcome to attend RFL, including family, friends, those who have battled cancer, and those battling cancer.
“Our goal for the day is to create a strong community support system, reach our fundraising goal while having a fun time,” says Michael. “We hope to create a memorable experience for those who participate in our RFL this year. Help make this event a big success by choosing to participate. We can make a difference together.”
Kyra Wex is a recent Nepean High School graduate.
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