Relay for Life running this May


Kayla Friedrich

This year’s relay theme is the Olympics

Johnson State College is once again working with the American Cancer Society to bring a Relay for Life to campus on Saturday, May 3.

Relay for Life is a 12-hour team-based walk that raises funds to help the ACS fight cancer. The Relay also serves as a way to honor cancer survivors and remember those who lost their battle with the disease. The event will start at 6 p.m. and run until 6 a.m. the following day.

The Relay is being coordinated by ACS Community Executive of Development Donna Rae Decatur and JSC Coordinator of Student-Athlete Development Kristin Cannon.

“[Donna] worked with us last year. She has been such a great proponent of our school here and what we are doing,” said Cannon.

So far, 15 teams have signed up for the event creating a total of about 100 participants. The event has already raised about $1000. This is above the totals for this time last year, according to Cannon.

“We really want to get the word out there about the American Cancer Society and what it does is the most important part to us,” said Cannon

This is the second Relay for Life hosted by JSC. Last year, 156 participants raised $10,000 for the ACS. The event was created by a committee of seven students in 10 weeks.

“For being such a small school, it was a big success for us,” said Cannon.

This year, the student committee has doubled to 14 members who meet once every other week. They work to get sponsorships, raise money, create teams, talk to clubs, and generally raise awareness of the event.

“It has really been a student-led activity, which is what we want,” said Cannon.

One such student is Steven Lamonde, who has been involved with the program since his freshman year. He is currently in charge of organizing equipment and the logistics of the event.

“These are all on-campus students,” said Lamonde, “and we have all put in a great amount of effort.”

The committee is also working on spreading the word beyond the JSC campus. The next big step for group will be money collection, according to Lamonde.

Goals for this year primarily focus on increasing participation.

“We want this to be a large community event,” said Cannon. “The more people involved the better. We want some faculty and staff teams, and more community teams. We would love to have a resident life team, a student affairs team, and a [Student Government Association] team.”

Those involved hope to see around 200 to 250 participants this year. While no specific monetary goal is set, everyone would like to see more raised than last year.

“We are looking to build up a Relay for Life community that is spread across Vermont,” said Lamonde.

This year’s Relay will feature themed laps based on the Olympics. Each team can be a different country. Other events include music by Sum of Thieves as well as guest speakers in the form of JSC alumni and cancer survivors. Different clubs will also host a variety of events across campus.

“If people are looking for a great time, to spend the night with a group of friends, and to raise money for a good cause, then they should put a team together and talk to us,” said Lamonde.