American Cancer Society to hold first Relay for Life for schools March 16 at Cave Spring Middle School
Saturday, March 16, 2013, marks the date for the Relay for Life of Roanoke Valley Schools at the Cave Spring Middle School track from 2-7 p.m. The survivor and caregiver gathering will take place prior to the event, at 1 p.m.
The event is student organized and student run, with input from student representatives from Cave Spring Middle School, Cave Spring High School, Northside Middle School, Northside High School, Hidden Valley Middle School, Hidden Valley High School, Glenvar Middle School, Glenvar High School, North Cross School and Salem High School.
“We noticed high school teams at the [Relay for Life] events,” says Michelle Bisbee of the American Cancer Society local office in Roanoke. Since 2009, the Roanoke County high school teams involved in Relay for Life have raised over $61,000, according to Bisbee. She says the idea for a student-run Relay for Life event has been in the works for the past year.
“We didn’t want to conflict with raising money for Kendall [Bayne],” Bisbee says.
This year Kendall, a Cave Spring High School junior, will be speaking during the opening ceremonies, which begin at 2 p.m., according to Bisbee. Another notable speaker is Glenvar High School football coach Kevin Clifford, who will be speaking at the luminaria ceremony. Clifford and the rest of the Glenvar community lost Michael Sandridge in January after a battle with testicular cancer. Sandridge’s father, Bayne Sandridge, will speak during the closing ceremony.
Relay for Life of Roanoke Valley Schools may be organized and run by area students, but the event is open to everyone. There is a $10 participant commitment fee, however, there is no fee for cancer survivors.
Relay for Life of Roanoke Valley Schools will host a Relay Rally on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in participating, registering or learning more about the event may attend. For more information or to register online, visit the website at www.relayforlife.org/rvsva.
“This is the starting point of a legacy,” Bisbee says.
– Avery Eliades