The American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” is the world’s largest fundraising event that aims to raise money to combat cancer.
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Creighton’s “Relay for Life” event finally took place in person on Friday, from 5 - 10 p.m. in the Kiewit Fitness Center.
Cameron Kresko, a junior in the Heider College of Business is the President of “Relay for Life” at Creighton. He said the “Relay for Life” team started planning for this event in early August and have been fundraising all year long.
“Funds raised through ‘Relay for Life’ directly support breakthrough research, 24/7 support for cancer patients, access to lifesaving screenings, and much more,” said Kresko.
“Participants are encouraged to walk laps around the track throughout the night to symbolize our restless fight for a cure for cancer.” Kresko said he became involved in “Relay for Life” because he grew up going to his hometown relay event as a kid.
“I always enjoyed the collaborative community effort to come together for a great cause,” he said. “I came across the opportunity to continue my involvement with ‘Relay for Life’ at Creighton University, and I couldn’t pass up the chance.”
Jordan Whitcher, a senior in the College of Nursing, was the Entertainment Executive for “Relay for Life” this year.
“As entertainment exec, I planned the activities and games for Relay, developed a schedule, chose decorations for the ‘Candyland’ theme, and developed a layout for the event.”
She said she became involved in the event because cancer has touched her life in many ways.
“I’ve lost family members and friends to cancer, and my experiences with this disease have ignited a passion for being involved in the fight against this disease,” said Witcher.
There were many activities at the event for participants to take part in such as silent auctions, basketball, volleyball, tug-of-war, a mummy fashion show, and a blow-up obstacle course. Students formed teams that raised money and competed in different games throughout the night. There was also a live performance from the band “Bearwithus.”
Emily Hegland a freshman in the College of Nursing, joined in the activates at “Relay for Life.”
“I walked around the track, raced in the blow-up obstacle course, ate food, and used my tickets to get other treats from other sororities and fraternities there,” said Hegland.
Emily said her sorority (Delta Zeta) raised money for the event. “It was fun raising money for such a good cause,” she said.
Witcher And Kresko voiced their excitement to have such a good turnout and surpass their monetary goal, especially after not having the event the past two years.
“At the end of the night, we had raised over $13,000 for the American Cancer Society,” said Kresko. “I am blown away by the astounding amount we raised this year, especially after coming back from the two-year hiatus.”
Kresko described the “luminaria ceremony” that took place during the event.
“Participants purchased luminaria bags that were illuminated with a glow stick and decorated them with messages ‘in honor’ or ‘memory of’ someone in their life that was affected by cancer.”
“The luminaria ceremony featured a speech from cancer survivor and Associate Professor Lee Budesheim and a silent lap around the track in which all participants walked in remembrance or in honor of someone in their life that has been affected by cancer.”
Kresko gave thanks to everyone who made the event a success.
“I’d like to thank my executive team and each committee member for all the hard work that they put in all year long,” he said. “I also would like to thank the 324 Creighton students that registered for this year’s event and fundraised all year long as well. Finally, I’d like to thank our corporate sponsor, The Muse Omaha, for their generosity and unwavering support for our cause.”
“I am honored to have been a part of such an inspiring movement of dedicated individuals working to find a cure,” said Kresko.