New Relay committee helps ‘paint the world purple’


Stu Mair

In honor of Relay for Life on Friday, April 8, students are encouraged to dress up for the appropriate spirit days.

Catherine Hathaway, A&E Editor

Every year, around spring time, the school slowly becomes bathed in hues of purple to signify the beginning of one of the biggest fundraisers throughout the year. Relay for Life is an annual fundraiser in support of the American Cancer Society, raising money for finding a cure for cancer, celebrating cancer survivors, and honoring the ones who lost the battle to the disease.

“Relay for Life of Lovejoy High School is a great opportunity for students to get involved with their local community and help spread awareness about cancer,” said Melissa Baxter, American Cancer Society Community Manager. “Cancer affects one out of two men, and one out of every three women, so it will be a prominent disease in their future, and the earlier we can get them involved and learning about prevention and techniques, then the better off our future generation will be.”

With a brand new committee leading the fight this year, there have been a couple changes to the event. Relay for Life will be hosted on April 8 from 6 p.m to 12 a.m. instead of all night like past events. This was a decision made by administration in order to ensure the safety of the attendees and make the event accessible to all ages. The theme this year is “Paint Your World Purple.”

“Everyone will enjoy the environment, and it’s a lot like a festival,” Relay for Life co-chair Sarah Wallaert said. “There’s a lot of fun games and music going on and you get to enjoy all of it, have a great time, and it’s all for a great cause”

A new addition to Relay for Life is a program called Beautiful Lengths. Beautiful Lengths is an organization that partners with the American Cancer Society to donate free wigs to cancer patients who have lost their hair. Beautiful Lengths requires eight inches of virgin hair to be donated. If you are unable to donate hair, $8 may be donated to the organization it it’s place. It takes 8-15 ponytails to make one wig. This year’s Relay for Life committee is motivated to donate enough ponytails to make one wig for the organization.

The Relay Committee will also be offering competitions to encourage money raising and team spirit. From March 29 to March 31, the committee held a competition for whoever gets the most amount of teammates in that time period. The winner received a pizza party at the event. Another ongoing competition the committee planned also revolves around gaining more teammates. The team that achieves the highest number of teammates will receive a cooler of soda to enjoy the night of the event.  

“We decided to add a little competition thing year to encourage people to participate in fundraising,” entertainment co-chair Brady Duke said. “It’s just a fun way to recognize the people who go above and beyond in their efforts to overthrow cancer.”

Though there are many changes to the event this year, Relay for Life wouldn’t be the same without the traditions everyone comes back for.

“Penny Wars and Mr. Relay have been very popular, so we’ve brought those activities back to the event this year,” co-chair Ian Raybon said.

Penny Wars encourages students from each grade, as well as staff, to put pennies in their bucket, located at the school store. Each penny counts as one point. Participants may put coins of high value into other teams’ buckets to deduct points from their total. Nickels subtract five points, dimes subtract 10 points, quarters subtract 25 points, and bills subtract that amount multiplied by 100.

The Mr. Relay Pageant is a Mr. Lovejoy Pageant spin-off for students in grades 9-12. Students are chosen based off the number of applicants and perform onstage at the event for a panel of judges. Mr. Relay is crowned at the event.

“In addition to all these events planned by our entertainment chairs, we have booked laser tag, a bounce house, and various local food vendors,” Raybon said.

The committee has planned both new and old activities for a variety of ages as well as constant live music performances from students and local bands.

“I’m super excited to see everyone come and fight against cancer,” Duke said. “I’m excited for the musical opportunities that we have. We have a DJ coming out. He’s going to be super awesome. Relay for Life will be better than ever in 2016. There’s a lot of new changes, and I’m really excited.”