Relay for life returns to NMU for kick-off

Mike Klarin

It’s been 30 years since the late Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, walked 83 miles over 24 hours at Baker Stadium in Tacoma, Wash. His motivation for this monumental feat was to raise money for the American Cancer Society. By the time his walk was finished, Klatt had raised $27,000 for cancer research and had put into motion what would become Relay for Life.

Junior anthropology pre-med major Kortney Homik is the Relay Committee Head of Logistics. She said Relay for life is important because the fight for the cure affects everyone.

“Relay is a fun event that reminds people that even though cancer is scary, there’s always a helping hand willing to lead you through it,” Homik said.

In its current form, Relay for Life is a 24-hour annual team event celebrated in over 20 countries. This year, Relay for Life at NMU begins with the annual Kick-Off to raise awareness, answer questions and register teams for the 2016 event. The Kick-Off is 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10 in the Payne and Halverson lobby.

Abby Blanchard, sophomore fisheries and wildlife management major, is one of the co-chairs for the event this year.

“Kick-off allows teams to become registered and start the process of planning and fundraising for Relay,” Blanchard said. “A majority of fundraising by teams is conducted before Relay so the sooner they get started the better.”

In preparation for the Kick-Off, the Relay for Life committee will pass out ribbons and answer questions in the ticket booth from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 in Jamrich. Sierra Raglin, senior clinical laboratory science major and co-chair of the Relay for Life committee said Kick-Off is a way to get students excited for the upcoming relay, and to increase involvement by getting the word out ahead of time.

“We will also be revealing this year’s theme at kickoff,” Raglin said. “It is important to attend so your team can get the information packets we have prepared for you. We will be giving out clues about the theme each day leading up to kickoff.”

To promote the event, Relay for Life is Partnering with the NMU Public Relations Student Society of America.

Each organization will release clues of the 2016 Relay for Life theme throughout the week, leading up to the big reveal at the Kick-Off next Tuesday. Follow #NMURoadToRelay, and check out the Twitter handle, @NMURFL as well as the Facebook page, Relay For Life of NMU MI, for updates and hints.