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ISSUE 120 VOL 20 PUBLISHED 5/4/2007

Relay participants prepare

By Emelie Heltsley
Staff Writer

Friday, May 4, 2007

On Friday, members of the St. Olaf and Northfield communities will join together on Manitou field from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. to participate in Relay for Life. Relay for Life is a nation-wide event that raises money for cancer research, remembers cancer victims and celebrates cancer survivors. Teams of eight to 15 participants will join to walk the track, symbolizing support for the fight against cancer.

This year, 627 people have signed up to participate in the event. At print time, it has raised over $25,000. Relay for Life has been gaining popularity both on-campus and in the larger community; this year's level of participation is no exception. "We're trying to get more and more of the community involved," said Chad Stegeman '07, interim president of St. Olaf Cancer Connection (SCC) and co-chair of Relay for Life. This year includes teams from Northfield Middle School, Northfield High School and the Golf Club.

Amy Hammers '07 also mentioned the incredible support. "We're trying to make things bigger and better, and there is no lack of support," she said.

Friday's schedule of events hosts an opening ceremony, a butterfly release, many musical guests, such as the Limestones, Agnes and Intertwining Melodies, as well as the popular Luminaria Ceremony. Participants who make a donation of ten dollars may decorate a bag in honor of a loved one. Later in the night the bags are lit during the Luminaria Ceremonyl

"The Luminarias are for survivors and those we're remembering," John Egge '07 said. Egge, who got involved in Relay for Life as a first-year student, is participating in his fourth relay this year. "My dad has cancer, and so do several other family members." Hammers also enjoys the Luminaria Ceremony, especially since her mother is a cancer survivor and her grandmother is currently fighting cancer. "The Luminarias are my favorite part of Relay," she said. "It's all about celebration and memory, and there is a great connection."

Hammers is looking forward to enjoying the event. "It's going to be really exciting," she said. "It's easy to get caught up in planning, and this week we can be reminded of why we're doing this."

All members of the St. Olaf and Northfield communities are welcome to be a part of Relay for Life.

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