Relay for Life

Jimmy Skaaland, Staff Writer

Relay for Life is the largest school wide fundraiser here at East Lake High School each year and there are many reasons for that.  It’s a great cause; the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society which splits it up between many programs, including funding research for cures.  Also it’s a lot of fun; teams do fundraising & can earn “Spirit Points” throughout the year, culminating on the actual night of the relay when all the teams come together and spend an entire night on the football field and walking the track.  Also it’s an important cause because it addresses an issue that has touched almost everybody in some way, cancer.  “At first I was hesitant about getting involved because I thought it would be hard to raise money but once I started trying I found it was much easier then I had expected.  I’m so glad I made the decision to join a team my freshman year. It’s been so much fun every year and I’m excited for it to be starting up again this school year,”  said senior Erin Leonard.

                Last year the East Lake Relay for Life set a school record by raising approximately $64,500.  This was a great accomplishment but this year’s goal is even higher, and to hit it will take the help of many students who have never participated before.  There are two main parts to this, and they are the fundraising done by teams throughout the year in various ways such as car washes, sponsorships, and events, all of this hard work pays off for students on the final night when all the participants, as well as the public, come together to celebrate and have the relay around the track where one student from each team is required to be carrying a team baton at all times throughout the night.  The night of Relay for Life is full of games, food, and fun for people of all ages.  Past Relays included “bobsled rides” powered by the track team in a shopping cart, dodge ball tournaments, music by our very own Mr. Rocktoff and much more.  Each year Relay has a theme and this year’s is “A World Without Cancer.”  Each team will get to select a country in the order that they  register and get their first $100 turned in; remember you will want to decorate your camp site and try to incorporate your night’s fundraiser with the country you choose.  If you’re interested, get some friends together and attend the Relay for Life Kickoff Party that will be held in the cafeteria on October 27th.  The relay itself will be held on Friday, April 13th starting at 6p.m. on the ELHS track.

                Relay for Life is by far the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  Most Relays across the country are put on by adults and usually entire communities but what we have done at East Lake is special, of the 21 teams that participated only 1 of them was made up of mostly non East Lake students.  This shows how strong our student body can be when it comes to organizing and following through with fundraising for a charity, yet still this is only a small portion of the student population that was involved.  It is the goal of East Lake’s Relay Committee to get at least 30 teams to participate in this year’s relay.  At both Palm Harbor and Countryside Relay for Life seemed to sweep the entire school into a frenzy that got both students and faculty excited and involved, and this type of involvement is what is hoped to happen here at East Lake this year.