Relay For Life raises awareness about cancer

Each year many students join together to celebrate, remember and fight back during the annual Relay For Life of Westlake-West Austin. This event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, helps raise awareness about cancer and money for cancer research. This year the event hopes to raise $127,000 and have 77 teams registered. The event will be held on April 27 at Chaparral Stadium.

“My favorite part about Relay is standing up at the top of the stadium and looking out over the field and seeing it covered in tents,” senior Jono Krawczyk said. “It’s really awesome to see that and know that every single person is united in the fight against cancer.”

Students form teams and join together to raise money before the event. During the event, teams walk around the track continuously to symbolize that cancer never sleeps and that those fighting cancer never stop. Although many students have participated in Relay before, others, encouraged by their friends or family, have decided to participate in RFL for the first time this year.

“I got involved with Relay For Life [this year] because I believe it’s such an inspiration for me and my peers, and I’d like to get people to notice how great a cause it is,” sophomore Katie Kimery said. “My granddad just recently got prostate cancer and it’s really affected him and our family. I want to make him proud and do it for him.”

While many students solely form teams, others have become more involved by taking positions on the planning committee. Several students serve as ambassadors within the different grade levels while others serve as the co-chairs of the Luminaria Ceremony.

“I was asked to join the committee as a freshman and have loved every minute of it,” junior Madi Wright said. “It’s filled with driven people and outstanding role models who are working hard to make a positive impact.”

Although the past two years there has been a carnival before the opening ceremony of Relay, this year the format has changed to include an Olympic-themed competition in lieu of the carnival. As Relay approaches, students will be able to participate in a Relay Week held at school the week of April 15. Students will also be able to register for the event during the lunch periods the week after Spring Break. Additionally, the last team captain meeting will be held on April 9 at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church in the Fellowship Hall at 7 p.m.