The 2016 Olympic Games will be celebrated when the ninth annual Relay For Life of Culver kicks off on Friday, April 15. There is still time to register or donate. Relay, which benefits the American Cancer Society, will be held in the Culver Academies Multipurpose Building from 6 p.m., Friday, April 15, through 6 a.m., Saturday, April 16. It is open to everyone in the Culver community.
Relay committee co-chairmen Jessica Ward ’16 (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Marina Fernandez de la Cuesta ’16 (San Sebastian, Spain) said teams and participants are asked to select one of the countries in the summer games to represent.
If the team has memorabilia from that country, such as a flag, they are welcome to bring it but team members do not have to be in costume. There will also be Olympic-themed laps and special events conducted through the night. The teams raising the most money will be given gold, silver, and bronze medals at the end of Relay, they added.
To date, 126 participants have formed 26 teams. Registration for teams and individuals is available online. People can also sponsor individuals and/or teams and make general donations on the Relay For Life of Culver website. Funds raised benefit the American Cancer Society.
Relay participants and donors may also remember loved ones lost to cancer and honor those battling the disease by dedicating luminaria. Luminaria, paper bags containing votive candles, are illuminated after dark. Each luminaria is personalized with a name, photo, message, or drawing in memory or honor of a friend or loved one who has been affected by cancer. Luminaria can also be dedicated in support of a Relay participant. Each luminaria candle represents a person.
Cancer survivors will begin the evening with the traditional first lap. There will also be a special dinner for survivors and their caregivers at the Naval Building at 5 p.m.
The first Relay For Life organized by high school students, the Culver event has raised nearly $800,000 since its inception in 2008. A number of local food vendors will be present, with proceeds going to Relay, and selected students and student groups will also perform during the evening. Participating students wishing to spend the night must raise a minimum of $10.
While Culver Academies serves as the host, Relay For Life is a community event that includes representatives from Culver Community High School, the Town of Culver, and surrounding counties. Alumni also come back to walk and raise funds to support classmates who are battling cancer.
Sponsors of the 2016 Relay For Life of Culver include Toots and Jim Henderson ’52, U.S. Metalcraft, Inc., Jerome Ney, Robert and Lynn Hulstrom, Culver Storage, and Bennett’s Contracting.