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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 18, 2024
The Shell will host the annual Relay For Life event to raise money for cancer research next week.

The Shell will host the annual Relay For Life event to raise money for cancer research next week.

UW-Madison campus to host Relay For Life at the Shell next week

UW-Madison will host Relay For Life at the Shell next week, with teams continuing the tradition of walking for 24 consecutive hours to raise money for cancer research.

“The entertainment makes it a very fun night that people really enjoy,” said Madeline Bireley, president of Colleges Against Cancer and Relay For Life at UW-Madison.

Relay For Life was founded in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours straight, raising a total of $27,000 for the American Cancer Society through support from donors and bringing awareness to the issue. The following year Klatt was joined by hundreds of participants, and Relay For Life has continued its mission to beat cancer ever since.

The event will take place on the track at the Shell April 8 and 9 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Team members walk together and take turns doing laps, and also participate in activities run by Relay For Life volunteers.

Bireley said she hopes 1,500 students come to the event, helping to improve on the $110,000 the event raised last year.

“We’ve been raising a lot of money the past few years, so we’re hoping for the same thing this year,” Bireley said. “Our goal this year is to get between $130,000 and $150,000.”


The event kicks off with an opening ceremony followed by the first lap, deemed the “Survivor Lap,” where cancer survivors walk the track and celebrate overcoming cancer. The second lap is the “Caregiver Lap” for those who have helped loved ones battle cancer. After this lap, the relay opens to all participants.

The event will also include lighting candles during the Luminaria Ceremony to honor loved ones who have lost the battle to cancer and those still fighting.

The relay officially ends with the Fight Back Ceremony, when team members and volunteers pledge to take action, spread awareness and promote cancer research and treatment.

Bireley said she believes the event can empower students to work against an intimidating issue.


“It’s important because it helps to give students a really good outlet to fight back against something that initially makes you feel really helpless,” Bireley said. “Relay For Life provides a community for people who have been affected by cancer.”

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