Relay for Life

Students make capes as they get ready to 'save the world' with Relay for Life.

April 24, 2013

Pacific University students host a new kind of Relay for Life event, raising money and awareness to fight cancer.

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A Relay for Life unlike any Pacific University has seen will come to campus April 26.

Since 1985, people from more than 20 countries have rallied together to walk, to celebrate the lives that cancer has touched, and to raise money for a cure. Pacific’s Colleges Against Cancer club has been working since the beginning of the semester to plan Pacific’s event.

Claire Ramaley ’15 is president of Colleges Against Cancer and co-event chair. She said she hopes the relay will become a valued tradition at Pacific University.

Unlike other Relay for Life events, Pacific’s version will only be five hours long. There will be no requirement to walk through the whole event. Instead, it will feature games and fundraising each hour.

Teams have the option of dressing up as superheroes to match the theme “Saving the World, One Cure at a Time.” (There was even a pre-party on Monday when teams could make their own superhero capes.)

“If everyone dresses up, I think it will be really cool,” Ramaley said.

The event will begin at 3 p.m., with cancer survivors taking a lap in the quad, followed by the rest of the teams.

Those whose lives have been touched by cancer through a family member are invited to bring photos of their loved ones for the virtual survivor portion of Pacific’s Relay.

Several teams and clubs on campus will host fundraising events and games throughout the five-hour relay. Participants will have the chance to make crafts, play field games and get “married” and “divorced” with National Residency Hall H.

The finale will be the traditional Luminaria, when candles are lit in white bags and participants rally together to honor the lives cancer has taken or changed.

Many members of Colleges Against Cancer have their own experiences that make Relay for Life particularly meaningful. Kathryn Onley ‘15, vice president, was drawn to the club after her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

“This event has definitely meant a lot to my mom,” she said. “Seeing me do something about it was very uplifting for her. It can be really hard just to say that you have cancer. I think this has helped her do that.”

Fueled by their personal connections to cancer, Colleges Against Cancer teamed up with the Forest Grove community Relay for Life. The original goal, Onley said, was to raise $2,000. Already, though, they’ve raised $2,900 and have raised their goal to $2,500.

So far, 18 teams and 128 people have signed up to participate in the Relay for Life — but everyone is welcome.

Onley said she wanted to stress that Relay for Life will be about having fun and coming together for a good cause.

If you are interested in starting a team or participating in the event on your own, email Kathryn Onley at or sign up on-site at 2:30 p.m. April 26 in the quad. Registration is free, and both students and community members are invited to come out and show support.