Well done, Colleges Against Cancer

Cindy Lindeman

April 16 I was privileged to spend some time on the campus of the University of Minnesota. As I arrived, I noticed students returning to their dorms after the last class of the day, students grilling for supper, students gathered by the movie theater. But, as I entered the field house, I was in awe as I witnessed over 2,000 students gathered for the University âÄúRelay for Life.âÄù Students gathered with their teammates and sleeping bags to spend the night, walk the path and raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The students were pumped for an evening of activities. At 6 p.m. they held the opening ceremony, with members of the marching band leading us in the Minnesota Rouser. Everyone listened attentively as a fellow student shared her experience with cancer. The survivors were asked to come forward as the students sang happy birthday, wishing all the survivors many more birthdays. As the survivors took the first lap around the track, the students stood in respect. The inside track was lined with luminaria bags and at 10 p.m. they held a lighting ceremony. Everyone was asked to gather together in front of the stage and all were given a glow stick. As the lights dimmed, we each cracked our glow sticks to indicate how cancer had touched our lives and soon, 2,200 sticks glowed throughout the field house. The luminaria candles in each bag were lit and the path came to life. Everyone was asked to stand and enter the track. The students and their guests formed a solid circle on the track through each lane and slowly and quietly made that first lap. Colleges Against Cancer, a University student group, should be commended on the organization of this event. They did an excellent job. As the event came to an end at 6 a.m. the students had raised over $200,000 for the American Cancer Society. I am so proud of each and every student that participated in the relay. Cindy Lindeman, University parent