From 6 p.m. on May 11, to noon on Saturday, May 12, McNicholas students participated in the annual Relay for Life at Anderson High School. The event supported cancer fighters and survivors, honored those who have passed away from cancer, and raised money for cancer research.
Sophomore Class President Riley Whitehouse and sophomore Vice President Grant Tore organized fundraisers in preparation for the relay. With the help of students interested in the event, Whitehouse and Tore raised money by selling bagels and snow cones in the lobby, hosting a jeans day, and planning a bonfire. “We raised over $6,000. All of the money goes to the American Cancer Society for cancer awareness and research,” Whitehouse said.
Over one hundred McNicholas students signed up for the event. “I was thrilled by the number of kids who participated,” Student Council Moderator Kyle Jepson said. “We had more than Anderson and Turpin combined.”
When students arrived at Anderson High School, they set up tents on the football field for the 18 hour event. After sunset, the luminary ceremony began. Paper bags decorated with the names of those who have or have had cancer were placed around the track and lit with a small candle. “The luminary ceremony was the most memorable part of the relay,” sophomore Sarah Cornell said. “I liked how we were all united to fight against cancer and support each other.”
After the luminary ceremony, at least one student from each team walked the track at all times, while the other members participated in fun activities like playing football and ultimate frisbee, and dancing to songs played by a DJ.
Sophomore Sarah Hickman, who was diagnosed with leukemia on January 31, made an appearance at the event to say hello to her classmates. “I’m very happy I got to go,” Hickman said. “I’m hoping by next year I’ll be able to spend the night. My favorite part was definitely seeing all my friends that I feel like I haven’t seen in a lifetime and just getting to spend time with them and catch up.”
McNicholas participants have showed interest in partaking in the relay next year as well. “I would love to make it [Relay for Life] a McNick tradition,” Jepson said. “I think it’s a good cause.”