Terry Scholars to host walkathon to raise money for cancer
The Honors College Terry Scholars are hosting the first Relay for Life walkathon Friday at 6 p.m. at Lynn Eusan Park with the help of other student organizations.
Relay for Life is trying to raise awareness and money for cancer and to give all proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
“I’m really excited to bring Relay of Life to the University of Houston,” said Karely Martinez, co-leader of the event and a student who lost her grandmother to cancer. “This all hits close to home for many of us. We hope everyone comes out to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those we have lost and help raise funds to find a cure one day.”
President of the Terry Scholars at UH and co-leader of the walkathon Kyle Knight said that UH has not hosted a walk like Relay for Life before.
“We’re hoping to get a lot of campus participation to set up a legacy here at UH for fighting cancer,” Knight said. “There are plenty of walks but nothing for specifically cancer in this way because this funds housing, treatment and research for cancer victims, so we’re hoping that it carries on as a tradition.”
The six-hour walkathon will also feature games and activities inside of the park for people to enjoy and raise money.
“What sets Relay apart from other walkathons is that when you get out to the park and (to the) booths, it’s kind of like a party, a celebration of life,” Knight said.
Once participants finish the walkathon, they can enjoy a DJ, Gatorade pong, bra pong, a Mr. Relay pageant and a pretend jail to lock their friends in. Other student groups will also have their own tables set up across the park, raising money in their own way.
Knight said that it is important to note that Relay for Life is not a race, and it doesn’t have a winner. To make it more interesting, almost every lap is expected to have a theme, whether it is hula hooping or walking backwards.
At 9 p.m., the event will have an intimate moment, the Luminaria Ceremony, in a midst of all the fun to remind all the participants why they are there.
“The ceremony takes place after dark, so one can remember the people we have lost to cancer, honor the people who have fought cancer in the past, and support those whose fight continues,” according to the American Cancer Society.
Participants will walk in silence, holding paper bags with LED lights that contain names of those who have passed away from cancer.
“The one thing I want to make sure, especially when I talk to people about this, is that cancer is something that affects all of us in some way, shape or form,” Knight said. “You have those sad moments when you’re listening to the names of all those who died from the disease. At the same time, it’s that more powerful when the lights come on, and you’re with your friends and you know every dollar is going to the cancer society to stop more people from dying.”
Those who want to participate in the walk can come out to Lynn Eusan Park on the day of the event with $10 and receive a wristband or preregister online.
For those who wish to volunteer, there will be an orientation for all volunteers Thursday at 6 p.m. at Lynn Eusan Park.