Blue Valley Relay for Life chapter to host annual event

The Blue Valley school district Relay for Life chapter is hosting its annual event beginning March 4 at 6 p.m.


Emily Staples

2015 BVNW graduates Kate Messer and Esha Pahwa at the 2015 Blue Valley Relay for Life.

Brandon Fagen, Staff Writer

The Blue Valley Relay for Life chapter will host its annual fundraiser 6:00 p.m. March 4 to 6:00 a.m. March 5 at Drive5 Sports Center. To participate, students must form teams in advance and raise $50 or $100, depending on how long they stay at the event. Multiple groups will represent BVNW at the event, including members of the Ukulele Club.

Chad Askew, a sponsor of BVNW’s Relay for Life chapter said the purpose of Relay for Life is to raise money for the American Cancer Society to put toward research. Askew said students at Relay for Life talk, walk around the track and hang out with their team in their selected area.

“Each team will have a camping spot at the event,” Askew said. “Each team sets up all kinds of different craziness at their camping spot. There are teams that bring TVs with gaming systems and stuff. There is a track that one team member is supposed to be walking at all times, but the rest of the team members are just kind of mingling with other teams.”

Senior Nandita Daga, the event chair, president and founder of the BVNW Relay for Life chapter, said she began working with other Blue Valley schools in the district to plan this event for months. She explained that the big event at relay for life was the walking of the track.

“The idea of relay is that one person from every team should constantly be walking on the track,” Daga said. “You don’t have to walk for 12 hours, but every moment somebody should be walking on the track because cancer never sleeps, so for that night neither should we.”

According to Askew, these teams are groups of people who go together and help each other fundraise. Askew said each team has a team has a team leader, and that is the one who is responsible for organizing the team and making sure all the money is turned in.

Senior Peter Hartman, the president of Ukulele Club, is one of these team leaders. His team consists of people from Ukulele Club, and as part of their fundraising they decided to sell serenades during spirit week. During advisory Feb. 11, Ukulele Club members went around serenading students.

“It went really well actually,” Hartman said. “We made $150 for Relay for Life, which was a nice bonus so we don’t have to fundraise as much  money to qualify…. I think the response from the student body was really good, everyone who we serenaded always got on their phones and took snapchats and was excited about it.”

Hartman said that not only did Ukulele Club serenade to raise money, they are also going to be serenading at Relay for Life too.

“We are going to set up a little booth and then if people at Relay for Life want to anonymously serenade a friend then we go follow them and play songs for them for two or three minutes,” Hartman said. “We will give [the proceeds] all back to cancer research.”

Askew said that even though a lot of this event might seem like a big party, there are still serious parts. He said the event features a cancer survivor dinner and a luminary walk.

“I don’t know if there is anybody that hasn’t been affected in some way by cancer,” Askew said. Whether it be a loved one that was an immediate part of your life, or an extended family, or even at school in the last year or two…. “[Relay for Life] has both elements; it’s a fun activity, a fun event, but it also is a very meaningful event that has a pretty strong impact.”