Students exercise to raise money for cancer research
Culture | Hannah Garcia for The Clarion
Image courtesy of main.acsevents.org.
Bethel Student Association has always been known for hosting creative events that entertain students. But for this month’s event, BSA decided to bring the Bethel community together in a way they haven't before.
Since early October, BSA members had been diligently working to create Bethel’s first ever Relay for Life. On March 23, hundreds of students gathered to partake in the cancer walk to raise money for cancer research. Relay for Life is partnered with the American Cancer Society, and provides communities with the opportunity to make a difference in the advancement of treatment technology.
Bethel’s Relay for Life began with an opening ceremony to welcome community members, staff and students. Then began the eight-hour walk in which participants rotated walking laps, symbolizing what it is like to go through the long, daily process of cancer.
BSA combined funds from participants who had fundraised prior to the event with money raised from the day’s events, including silent auctions, raffles and donations. While they were not able to reach their goal, they were able to raise $10,000 at the event.
On a more serious note, BSA put this night together to show their respect and support for those who have passed away from, have overcome or are currently enduring cancer.
One of the ceremonies during the event was the “Luminaria Ceremony,” where participants were given the chance to decorate a paper bag for someone they know who has gone through cancer treatment. The lights were turned off, and the gym was lined with the glowing bags as members walked to show their support.
BSA seasonal director Olivia Cordova put in countless hours to make sure every individual understood why this event was important. Aside from all of the activities that were available during the relay, Cordova purposefully planned the night to center around cancer victims.
Her father, a cancer survivor, sparked a passion in her to continue to educate the community on cancer research in a way that is practical and experiential.
“It is a really serious event. It is something that is going to be impactful because a lot of students and staff are moved by the topic of cancer. It gives them the opportunity to for once make a difference in those lives,” Cordova said.
Giving the community the chance to personally be a part of something great, BSA aimed to bring participants to the realizations of a cancer victim’s world.
“This event is not for Student Activities, it’s not for the students and it’s not even for Bethel,” Cordova said. “This night is for God, and I really hope people can see that.”