Story and photos by Matthew Giffin / Contributing Writer
Student organizations at Middle Tennessee State University raised money for the American Cancer Society during its Relay for Life event in the Student Union atrium on Friday evening.
From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., members of student organizations walked laps around the atrium, forming a relay around the inside of the Student Union. Along their way, each organization had a table where they hosted various activities to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The event is organized for “cancer survivors, people that we’ve lost to cancer and people battling cancer right now,” Kristen Orway said, an MTSU student organizer for the event.
This year’s Relay for Life is the second time it’s been held in person at MTSU since it was canceled in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions, and Orway said these in-person events are much better for the American Cancer Society.
This year, she said, Relay for Life had surpassed the money they raised at all of last year’s event before this year’s event even started.
One table set up by MTSU’s service-learning students featured a stationary bicycle connected to a blender, provided by MT Dining, that students could pedal to make healthy smoothies. Students could purchase the smoothies, and the proceeds went to Relay for Life.
Other tables featured dart games where participants could pop balloons and win prizes, a raffle, a superhero dress-up game, a longest-chain link competition and a strongman game.
Various student organizations were represented, including WOC College Ministry, Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, Phi Kappa Phi, Pinnacle Honor Society and the MTSU Phillips Bookstore.
Orway said she and many others were there because of the ways cancer had touched their lives, either through a loved one who passed away or through their own battles with it. “I’ve had a lot of people in my family that have passed away from cancer,” she said, which inspired her to help her aunt, who was an event organizer at MTSU for the American Cancer Society.
The event was superhero-themed, with many students and event organizers donning capes, masks and costumes throughout the night in tribute to those who have fought cancer.
According to its website, the American Cancer Society is a nonprofit volunteer organization that works nationwide to promote healthy lifestyles, research cancer, advocate for policy changes and provide cancer information.
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