Relay For Life: A Night To Make A Difference

There is less than a month until the 2007 Relay for Life at WCU begins. The big night will be held on Friday April 13, 2007 on the University Center Lawn. This year’s two themes are Walk Without Fear and Freaky Friday. This year’s fundraising goal is to raise $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. Additionally, a goal was set to have at least 300 participants and at least 40 teams. To date there are 230 registered participants and 31 teams registered. The total amount of donations to date is $4,520. If you would like to make a donation you can visit and click the “Donate” button to make a donation.

Relay For Life of WCU is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and several programs to help the American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gather at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times. At the event, survivorship is celebrated and money is raised to help aid in the fight against cancer.

However, Relay For Life is so much more than just a walk around a track. It is a time to remember those lost to cancer and celebrate those who have survived. It is a night for people who have shared in the same experience to comfort and console one another. Relay gives you the power to help accelerate the Society’s progress toward a future where cancer doesn’t take the lives of our friends and family. It is a time to celebrate life, friendship, and a chance to work together toward a cancer free future.

By attending and supporting the Relay For Life of Western Carolina University, volunteers and donors put their efforts together to help the American Cancer Society to create a cancer free society. Every dollar that is raised makes a difference. The Society has contributed to almost every major discovery in cancer research. Additionally, millions of lives have been saved.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life began in Tacoma, Washington, as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer. In the mid-1980s, a man named Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed which was running marathons.

In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to help fight cancer. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course.

While he circled the track those 24 hours, he thought about how others could take part. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Months later he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

In 1986, 19 teams took part in the first team relay event on the track at the colorful, historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.

Relay For Life has now turned into an international event. Relay events occur in such countries as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, France, Jamaica, South Africa, and the United Kingdom just to name a few.

If you would like more information you can contact Russell Conover who is the Online Chair for Relay For Life at Western Carolina University at