By Ryan Strong
After months of preparation and diligent effort, Relay for Life finally occurred on Friday, October 13th. It brought together dozens of students, teachers, and chaperones in one extraordinary night that helped move forward the fight against cancer in the Shanghai American School community.
Relay for Life is an event that occurs all around the world. In it, students organize into teams to raise money for certain types of cancer research: breast cancer research, leukemia research, pancreatic cancer research. In this case, the organization that facilitated this process was the National Honor Society. After they organize into teams, students begin to raise money for their various types of cancer; generally, this was done through bake sales in the SAS Pudong Community.
On the day of the event, various members of the team walk laps, starting at eight a.m., to help commemorate cancer victims and survivors. The goal was to have at least one member of the team walk for the entire 24 hour period. For every lap that a member of a team walked, the team as a whole scored points, which would be used to decide which team won a prize at the end.. As the night progressed, Joyce Cheung and Ellen Oberle; both whose lives have been touched by cancer directly or indirectly, spoke to all those who attended about their experience with the disease. After the second speech, there was a lap where all lights were turned off and silence was enforced to commemorate all those who had experienced cancer. In the morning, point totals were announced and the winning team was declared. Finally, the amount of money raised was announced: 209,000 RMB.
The reaction to Relay for Life was overwhelmingly positive. “Everybody is outside, good atmosphere, good music, good games, good teams,” said Hugh Buckeridge, Vice President of the National Honor Society.
Emma Anderson, a member of the winning team, Orange Crush, concurred: “ Relay for Life is going really good; NHS has set this up really well.”