Relay For Life, Loyola University Maryland

You’re much stronger than you think you are, trust me.
— Superman

The morning begins at 7am in front of McGuire Hall for Relay for Life committee members. 

All hands on deck

We start by organizing the decorations that we have been working on for the past two semesters. Every Sunday, Spirit Committee (our lovely sophomore co-chairs Sophie, Jeff and Madison) hosts a decorating event at 8pm. During this time, we create LUM bags and hope quotes. What are LUM bags? Hope quotes? These are essential Relay terms that you grow to learn and love. LUM bags are paper bags that can be purchased by anyone to then decorate like the ones below in memory or in honor of anyone who has been affected by cancer. These bags are used during our Luminaria ceremony at the event, where everyone at the event joins together to walk laps around the track illuminated by lights glowing from within the white LUM bags. While walking around the track, everyone is either holding their eyes shut to keep tears from rolling down their cheek, looking down at the LUM bags, or up to the walls surrounding them; walls that are filled to the brim with white construction paper painted through the love and hope of committee members. The papers are filled with motivational quotes, drawings, and uplifting sayings that support everyone attending the event. 

By meeting together each week and creating the event by hand in a small classroom, we build a community within our club. Each person who puts in the effort to help relay come together, makes it that much better for each survivor and caregiver experiencing Relay with us. 

At the event, our over-enthusiastic Entertainment committee creates the event timeline. This includes performances from our a cappella groups, the ukulele club, gospel choir, dance team, Irish step club, a 12-hour long scavenger hunt, karaoke, real life Mario Kart… and too much more to list off. Relay runs from 3pm-3am, and there isn’t a second where you stop moving. Friends and family come intermittently, there are two arenas to roam through, and no one can stop talking about all the good that’s going on around you. Relay has become an iconic event at Loyola. 

Once the countdown reaches 3am, all the walkers, participants, committee members, and guests who have stood 12-hours through the event gather to sit down and watch the Relay executive committee chairs reveal how much was raised over the past six months. Starting from the right side, they reveal to the crowd backwards the amount that was raised.

At the 2017 event, Loyola raised more than $160,000 for American Cancer Society.