Annual Relay for Life raises over $13,500

California Lutheran Un-iversity and fellow neighboring communities came together for an all-nighter at the annual Relay for Life event  April 8 in the Lundring Events Center.

DMC performed a jazz funk routine at Relay for Life. Photo by Jackie Rodriguez - Staff Photographer
DMC performed a jazz funk routine at Relay for Life.
Photo by Jackie Rodriguez – Staff Photographer

The event started at 6 p.m. April 8 and lasted through the night and ended around 8 a.m. the next morning  April 9.

“We tested out a six-hour model from 6 p.m.-12 a.m. last year and everyone really missed the overnight element so we brought that back,” Christine Trunick Relay For Life event chair, said.

According to Trunick, this is the fifth year Cal Lutheran hosted Relay for Life.

“The student who decided to start it was the year before I was a freshman. It was their first year and she had decided to start it because she was really involved in the American Cancer Society as well, and she wanted to bring a presence on campus,” Trunick said.

Planning for the event began about a year in advance.

“It’s a lot of fun to be involved because you really don’t see how much goes into a relay when you just go to one. It’s really been nice to see how much work everyone put into the relay,” Adam Santa Cruz, activities chair ,said.  

The event began with an opening ceremony with emcee John Short III and Cal Lutheran President Chris Kimball, focusing on the mission of fighting cancer along with the first lap honoring cancer survivors.

“It’s making people aware, cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence necessarily, there’s a lot of survivors. But it’s also an awareness that it can hit anybody at any time and there are ways to prevent it, so this is a way to make people aware of it and being educated,” Ann Phillips, cancer survivor and mother of Cal Lutheran student Kayla Phillips, said.

Shortly after the survivor lap, Cal Lutheran student Natalie K was the first performer of the evening, followed throughout the night by other students and groups including Kim Thon and band, DMC and Katrina Petty, according to the events’ website.

Other activities included Zumba with Cal Lutheran’s instructor Stacy Gross, Pilates with Cal Lutheran’s instructor Kristen Routh, and yoga for the participant, Trunick said.

A “Disney Songs Lap”, hula-hoop contest and Luminaria ceremony were included on the schedule.

“We have a lip sync battle and for people who are doing laps, requesting a song for a lap to keep everyone entertained,” Trunick said.

Clubs also had tables set up around the track and were showing their support for the event.

The Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government organized for the Grilled Cheese Food Truck to come around 8 p.m. and provided the  first 200 students and participants free grilled cheese sandwiches.

According to the funds tracker on the events website, other clubs showed their support by donating, including Delta Sigma Pi,with $4,266, Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals Program at $3,017 and Cal Lutheran faculty and friends raising $1,249 for the American Cancer Society.  

As of April 9, the website indicated the amount raised for the event totaled at $13,510.30, though with funds raised at the event, it could be more.

“It’s benefiting anybody’s lives who have been affected by cancer, whether it be someone who actually has the disease or is related to someone or knows someone who has it,” Santa Cruz said. “When it goes to the American Cancer Society, it’s not going to just research. It goes to help people with lodging or rides and it’s really nice to see that it actually makes a difference right away.”

Rebecca Austin
Staff Writer
Published April 13th, 2016