Western Herald – WMU Relay for Life committee begins another year of fundraising

WMU Relay for Life committee begins another year of fundraising

Katie King
News Reporter

Planning an event outdoors can be difficult in any season, and spring weather is challenging to predict, especially in April. Last year, Western Michigan University’s Relay for Life committee found this out the hard way and is trying to do things a bit different this year.

Alison Chandler, a senior studying interdisciplinary health, asked her parents to assist her with Relay For Life on Friday morning. Her mother Bettye Chandler celebrates the first lap of Relay For Life, which was dedicated to the American Cancer Society's 100th year anniversary. Erin Gignac/Western Herald


WMU will be hosting Relay for Life in the Read Field House from 10 a.m. to 10 a.m. on April 12 to 13.

“We want everyone to have fun, stay and not freeze to death,” said Chassell Habermehl, event chair of WMU’s Relay for life, because the weather turned many people away last year.

Trevor Kuenz, a 2012 graduate, participated last year with his fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi.

“The weather was awful,” Kuenz said. “I think it really deterred quite a few people from going.”

The weather was around 30 degrees with rain and snow, according to Kuenz. He said given similar conditions the relay would be better inside.

“The theme this year is Carnival for a Cure,” Habermehl said. “There will be games and challenges, just really fun stuff.”

The relay is done in teams, according to Habermehl.  One member of each team is required to be on the track at all times. There are a lot of exciting events that will keep people active, moving and wanting to stay.

Last year was successful, according to Habermehl. She said not much is being done differently this year than last year, but that it is a building year for the relay committee.

Members of Colleges against Cancer and the American Cancer Society listen to a speech given by chapter president Cesar Carrizales, a senior in occupational therapy, at the Relay for Life event. Carrizales said the group has raised around $20,000 from this event and said he hopes to raise at least $50,000 by August. Erin Gignac/Western Herald


“It is good not to reinvent something that is already successful,” Habermehl said.

. Last year’s Relay for Life committee exceeded its $45,000 goal by $5,000, and the goal this year is to match last year’s total of $50,000.

Right now there are 37 teams, and the goal is 50.

“We have time and I think we can do it,” Habermehl said.

Habermehl said that the Relay for Life team wants to get student organizations, Greek life and athletic teams involved according to Habermehl. She said that mostly students participate, but local businesses and organizations like Bronson Hospital do as well. Anyone in the Kalamazoo community is welcome to join and support the cause.

“This is an amazing fundraising event. Everyone has been touched by cancer,” Habermehl said. “ When people do donate they know where it’s going and it can help benefit their loved ones.”

Dollars from the fundraiser go towards Hope Lodge, which provides patients and their caregivers a home away from home during treatment for no cost, according to Habermehl. Money also goes towards Road to Recovery, whichprovides patients with rides to appointments when needed.

For more information or to get involved visit WMU’s Relay for Life website.

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