Graphic Jula Utzschneider
Despite several COVID setbacks, the annual Relay for Life, held on Friday, May 14, was still a success, according to the club’s co-adviser Lauren Hesemeyer.
Started in 1985, Relay for Life is a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, dedicated to raising awareness and money for cancer research. This year at Algonquin, the co-advisers were Lauren Hesemeyer and Sarah Lawlor, and the student president was senior Jessica O’Brien.
Were there any changes that needed to be made this year because of COVID-19?
“We had to hold a completely virtual event. This is the second year we have done a virtual event, so we learned from last year and held a much shorter event. It was from 3 p.m. on Friday to 9 p.m. on that same Friday. Every hour we did something different on social media, so we primarily ran the event through Instagram and we would post opening ceremony speeches and facts about Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. We held other virtual events, we did trivia and then we also tried to encourage the public to post on social media in support of Relay for Life. You could post your old Relay for Life throwback pictures, or post why you relay. We also posted a few stories of people within our Algonquin community who have been directly affected by cancer, so that was really cool.”
Was the event as successful as years past?
“No, because it was completely virtual. This event is so much more successful when we are able to physically bring the community together. It’s usually an overnight event, and we have it on a Friday night, and it ends Saturday morning. We have so many more events, performances, games and ceremonies. I feel like we are able to reach the community so much better when we are all together physically. The whole point of the event is to walk in memory of those who are affected by cancer and to just show support. It’s always a little bit easier to do that in person.”
Did you raise money this year?
“We fundraised money that goes directly to the American Cancer Society. This year we raised $3,999.07.”