Twenty teams with more than 550 participants raised more than $10,000 for the American Cancer Society in UCA’s 2014 Relay for Life on April 4 at the intramural fields.
Junior Michael Lukacs said it was a remarkable experience.
“Being able to see so many college students come out to support a cause greater than themselves on a Friday night was mind blowing,” he said. “Cancer is a touchy subject that has impacted everyone’s life in some way and Relay for Life was a testament to that.”
Lukacs said it was an opportunity that gave the participants a real account of what their support was going toward and that they were clearly making a difference.
The event lasted from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m., which UCA Relay for Life 2014 Event Chair Stephanie Daigle, sophomore, said is representative of a person’s fight with cancer.
“At sundown, they receive their diagnosis,” she said. “They fight through the night, and in the morning, there’s hope.”
The event opened with a team lap, which was televised by THV.
Next was the Survivor Lap, which Daigle said was “where each student pulled up a picture
of a cancer survivor they knew on their smart phone and took a lap honoring their fight as celebrating their victory.”
The teams took time to remember those they have lost to cancer, and pledge to fight back against this disease in their place at the Luminaria Ceremony, which began at 9 p.m.
Daigle said they read aloud the names of loved ones who had lost their cancer battle and took a silent lap in their memory.
The field was abuzz throughout the night with themed laps, student performances, contests and games.
The event concluded with an awards ceremony for participating teams.
Kappa Sigma Fraternity raised the most money at $2,029.64.
Daigle said the planning process event began in October 2013, when she formed a committee of student volunteers.
“Last semester, we worked to gain sponsorships from the Conway community and book the location and some logistics that would need to be taken care of far in advance,” she said.
“Teams began registering in January, and more details such as the events and entertainment of the evening and the ceremonies were planned this semester.”