Unprecedented number of Relay teams fuels high expectations

Anna Wonderlich, Co-Editor

On March 2 and 3, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., almost one thousand BV, BV West and BV Southwest students will attend Relay for Life.
Sponsor Adam Wade said RFL experienced about a 50 percent growth in participants since last year.
“We have more students signed up than ever before,” he said. “Right now, I think we have about 450 students on either Committee or a team, so it will be much bigger on our end. The three schools combined will probably have close to a thousand kids. Last year, we had about 300.”
Committee co-chair junior Bingjie Li said she is excited about the increase in RFL participation.
“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing a crowded gym because there will be so many people there,” she said. “It will definitely be nice to see all those smiling faces and people having fun.”
Because 38 teams are registered, Wade said many teams will share campsites.
“Due to spacing issues, we’re not going to have 38 campsites,” he said. “There will definitely be a large amount of combining two to three, and in some cases, even four campsites. We’re going to make it work because, in the end, we’re all here to fight cancer.”
Wade said he expects BV to raise the most money because of all the BV students participating.
Last year, BV raised $33,000, so this year the RFL Committee wants to raise $100,000 between the three schools.
“I’d like to say we’d raise more than both of them put together,” he said. “At the same time, we have to remember that all three schools are working together against cancer.”
Li said events will occur every 15 minutes to keep everyone awake and excited.
This year’s activities could include ceremonies, Fifth Wall and drumline performances, a bouncy house, a glow stick dance party, a talent show, a photo booth and a caricature artist.
Wade said he likes being involved with RFL because he feels like he’s making a difference.
“The more involved I become, and the longer I sponsor it, the more of a connection I feel to the event itself and to those dealing with cancer,” he said. “In the end, everyone unfortunately has to deal with cancer in some way or another, whether it’s a family member or friend getting sick, or even worse, themselves getting sick. To me, it’s just mind-boggling that something can be as scary and powerful as cancer can.”
Wade said he understands why students are involved with RFL every year.
“Students really grab a hold of the impact that they can have on society,” he said. “Raising money for such a good cause that really affects everyone is just a natural fit. It’s something that is relatable, and I think it’s something that’s really just crucial for everyone to participate in.”