Relay for Life’s impact strong with NC teacher and student presence

Mrs. Rankenburg supports striking out cancer by purchasing a Pink Out shirt from junior Riley O’Neill.

Nneoma Igwedibie

Mrs. Rankenburg supports striking out cancer by purchasing a Pink Out shirt from junior Riley O’Neill.

Sarah Sutley, Reporter

Student members and teacher advisers reflect on their motivation to join the popular organization Relay for Life and share fundraising ideas as the committee begins its monthly meetings.

“As a cancer survivor, this cause is very personal and close to my heart. I joined Relay to help others that are going through similar situations as I did. I love being able to watch students contribute their time to such a meaningful movement,” AP Environmental Science teacher Julie Hopp said.

Relay For Life stands as an event organized by the National Cancer Society. This non-profit organization has raised over $900 million in 2012 and expects a substantial increase in donations as more become involved in the years to come. The money raised contributes to cancer research, patient support, and many other important services. Nearly 90% of money taken in by the American Cancer Society consists of personal donations and special events, such as Relay For Life.

“Originally, I wanted to become a member of Relay For Life to earn community service hours, but I soon realized how much of a difference I could make, simply by raising money through fundraising. We sell blow-pops, brownies, t-shirts, and all kinds of other things to make money for the organization,” junior Sarah Moeller said.

The Relay For Life club at NC works to earn enough funds to participate in the county-wide event on May 2. Originally began by Dr. Gordy Klatt in 1985, Relay For Life became an instant success. People attend the overnight community walk in teams, taking turns walking a lap and sleeping in tents on the track. The Cobb County Relay For Life event consists of a survivors lap, luminaria ceremony, fight back ceremony, and fun activities for all ages.

“Being a part of the Relay For Life club is something I am very proud of. I was motivated to participate in the event and raise money as a result of experiences with cancer in my family. My mom is a 35-year cancer survivor and my cousin was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at a young age. Relay For Life gives me the opportunity to make a long term difference in the lives of those who suffer from cancer,” Magnet chemistry teacher Jordan Tidrick said.

Students and teachers alike describe the organization’s work ethic as strong and effective, because they work for a powerful common cause. The Relay For Life club at NC remains a widely popular and respected extracurricular activity, even prompting the school principal Dr. Page to announce the school’s impact and amount of money raised for the organization each year at the graduation ceremony. All members of Relay For Life find importance in collecting money and contribute to a movement that continues to make positive strides in finding a cure for cancer.