Relay For Life Recap


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Hope, that is what 500 Shawnee Mission West students walked for on Friday September 27th. Hope that maybe one day we can eradicate cancer from the face of the earth.

With 42 teams, Relay for Life was even bigger than in years past. The money is still being counted but as of now they have surpassed their goal of raising $35,000. The event would not have been possible without the help from Ms. Kieffer, the Relay committee, and PTSA who have been putting their time and effort into Relay for Life since last April to make sure everything went as well as possible.

An emotional opening ceremony including a speech from one of Shawnee Mission West’s own Jonathan Shipp, a cancer survivor, followed by the survivor lap started off the night. Ms. Kieffer, the Relay for Life sponsor at West had this to say about the opening ceremony “It also gets me choked up! I am so proud to see these courageous people fighting the battle and those who are in remission.”

After an emotion filled opening ceremony, the mood lightened as students prepared for a chilly night on the track. Although it was a brisk evening, the students didn’t seem to mind to weather, everybody was sidetracked with walking, socializing, and playing games on the soccer field. The host’s for the evening supplied students with a few mini games to pass the time including a water balloon toss, a trivia game, a dance party, and many more.

As soon as you arrived at the track you noticed that it was lined with little white bags called luminarias, each with the name of a cancer victim. When darkness fell the luminarias were illuminated while we heard speeches from Jack Jeronimus, Mrs. Norburg, and the Brunmeier family, each telling their story of how cancer had affected their lives. After the speeches, a few silent laps were walked to honor those who have lost their lives to cancer. Following the silent laps, the night began to carry a lightened mood once again, except this time it was filled with groggy and sleep deprived students. Participants began to doze off trying to get even an hour or two of sleep for the night with only a handful of kids pulling a true all-nighter.

When the night passed and morning came, the sleepy students began to pack their tents and belongings and prepared to head home. Students might have began the night walking for somebody in specific, a grandparent, a friend, a neighbor, or whoever: everybody left in the morning knowing they had walked for anybody who has been touched by this horrible disease.

Photos: Dylan Crow