Thirty years ago, the first Relay for Life, hosted by the American Cancer Society (ACS), was held in Tacoma, Wash. Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran around his local track for 24 hours to raise money for ACS. His efforts raised $27,000.

The following year, 340 supporters joined the overnight event. Since those first steps, the Relay for Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion for the fight against cancer.

In support of ACS, The University of New Mexico Relay for Life hosts a 12-hour fundraising event on Friday-Saturday, April 24-25, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Johnson Field. The idea is that cancer never sleeps so for 12 hours someone from each team will be walking around a track at Johnson Field. 

“The UNM Staff Council is collaborating with the American Cancer Society in an effort to better support our community in New Mexico impacted by Cancer and also the many staff, faculty and students impacted every day,” said Staff Council President Renee Delgado-Riley.

A variety of cards are available for donors to express themselves.

Each Relay for Life event includes a Survivor’s Lap, during which all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track. Relay for Life events also place emphasis on recognizing and celebrating all caregivers, who give time, love and support to all who are afflicted by cancer.

The University of New Mexico is now a contributor in this crucial and honorable goal. A staff-comprised team, led by captain Kathy Mckinstry, is currently in first place out of 20 teams in the $3,000 donation race. The UNM community is urged to contribute to the cause.

“The University continues to find ways to give back to the community,” said Staff Councilor Mark Reynolds. “Like the Roadrunner Food Bank each year, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life provides another opportunity for UNM staff to get involved, give back and pay this forward.”

Details for donations and participation can be found, visit UNM Staff.

The schedule
6 p.m. – Opening Ceremony
7 p.m. – Survivor Lap (if you or someone you know is a survivor please attend this uplifting event). Also, Caregiver Lap, Parade of Teams and bands
8 p.m. – Zumba
9 p.m. – Luminaria Ceremony  (This is a very somber moment to walk around the track and read all the luminarias that people have written on in remembrance or celebration for their loved ones and friends.)
10 p.m. – A Capella Group