Delagrange strides towards Carroll’s first Relay For Life

By Audrey Scaer, News Editor

   Carroll High School will hold a Relay For Life for the first time during spring of the 2016-2017 school year thanks to Health teacher Teri Delagrange.

   According to the Relay For Life website, Relay For Life is an organization run by the American Cancer Society that raises over $400 million per year for cancer research through individually held events called relays.  These events are not just aimed at fundraising, but also honoring those who have been affected by cancer.

   Relays are events in which individuals or teams of individuals walk laps around a track in comradery for those who have struggled with cancer. Prior to the event, the individuals aim to gain benefactors that donate money based on the number of people that walk. However, the event doesn’t only involve walking; among other things, there are also opening and closing ceremonies as well as family entertainment. 

    Carroll was recently approached by the American Cancer Society about holding a relay. Delagrange took on the task of organizing the event, a continuation of her involvement in the Carroll community.

   “Ever since my position here as assistant athletic director was cut,” Delagrange said, “it allowed me to get involved with philanthropic activities, which I never had a chance to do before.”

   Delagrange already had prior exposure to the organization, as she attended a relay once while she was a teacher at DeKalb High School. Though she has seen the event in action, planning and organizing it is another more challenging field. To help with this process, a representative from Relay For Life, Britny Berndt, will be working with Delagrange and the rest of the Relay For Life committee.

   The callout meeting for the committee was held on Thursday, March 3. At this meeting, Berndt explained the basics of what the organization stands for and what the event is all about. At the next meeting on April 10, the group will work towards beginning to sort through specific logistics for Carroll’s first relay.

   Relays can be up to 24 hours long in order to show that “cancer never sleeps.” Carroll’s relay is planned to be 12 hours, lasting from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Carroll’s track. Part of the reason for this is because Delagrange wanted the event to last long enough into the night that a part of the event, the Luminaria Ceremony, would be more effective if it occurred in darkness.

   The Luminaria Ceremony is a portion of the relay that is aimed at honoring those who have passed away from cancer. Individual bags called luminarias are dedicated by participants of the event to family and friends that lost their battle to the disease. The bags can also be decorated if the person dedicating chooses to do so. Small lights and candles are placed into the luminarias to light up the ceremony.

   “We [the Relay For Life committee] do want to go until nighttime,” Delagrange said, “because it’s one [Luminaria] for every person that passed away and I guess it’s really cool.”

   With preparation underway, Delagrange is most hopeful that she will get more Carroll students to participate on the committee.

   “I would really like to have more students involved,” Delagrange said. “I’ve put out an announcement, but I would really like more students to be on our committee because I think that their voice is important and they can really draw in a lot of kids to participate.”