“Cancer doesn’t sleep, and neither do we.” The motto for this years Relay for Life is telling of how much effort has been put into this year’s relay.

The student-led organization puts on an all-night walk in which they hope to raise a lot of money to send to the American Cancer Society. The walks are created with the intention of raising money while having a good time, so it is carefully planned and crafted beforehand.

“This years’ theme is Festivals Around the World, but we’re kind of focusing on Marti Gras in particular,” said Mackenzie Ellis, a sophomore government and international politics major. “We make these purple batons out of yardsticks, and each team gets one. You want to have at least one person from each team on the track all night because cancer never sleeps, and neither do we. We try to cater our events to our theme. So this year with the kind of festival Marti Gras theme, we are doing a limbo lap and you get a [Marti Gras] bead lap. We try to gear the kind of mini events that we have going on during the entire event towards our theme.”

Teams typically consist of five or more members and can be from anywhere in the community. Some of the groups in the past have been formed from fraternities, sororities, student organizations and even different small businesses such as hair salons and sports teams. Many local high schools form groups for Relay for Life as well and are known for bringing great contributions.

Cancer survivors also enjoy attending the event to share their stories and help raise money for the cause.

“Right after the opening ceremony we have a survivor lap where basically we get all the survivors together, and they take the first lap, and everybody else just lines the track and cheers them on,” Ellis said.

The walk will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. on April 21 in the field house. It consists of walking along with many other activities and concessions to raise money in the fight against cancer.

“We have side games going on throughout it so people get to win games. And then at the end we’ll announce the team who’s achieved their goals and who’s reached the highest amount of money,” said Grace Jacoby, a junior community health major.

Some of the committee members offer advice to people wanting to start a team and raise a lot of money for relay.

“When I reach out to family and friends to ask for money I always give them an update about my life because I feel wrong just asking people for money without giving them something in return. It’s fun because I get to reconnect with family members and friends, and I get to hear their stories [of how cancer has affected them],” Jacoby said.

For people who are more serious about raising money, they can go about earning it by working as well as asking for donations.

“Teams fundraise and do outside fundraisers,” said Stephanie Guiton, a sophomore art and visual technology major. “You can send emails, bug your family members and that kind of stuff. They will set goals throughout the whole season then they attempt to meet their goals by the time of the event.”

The Relay for Life committee would love to see the event grow exponentially.

“I think one of our goals is to make it more of a tradition on campus because it is still the largest student-run event,” Jacoby said. “So we just want to advertise it to people, to bring to people’s knowledge that this is what you should be doing on this day every year. People should be looking forward to it and we want to make a presence on campus.”

The Relay for Life is a great event that benefits people with cancer as well as brings people together to make lifelong friends.

“At the end everyone just seems very united because everyone comes in with their individual teams, and then by the end everyone is just formed into a large relay,” Jacoby said. “It’s nice.”

“It’s like a big happy family,” Ellis said.