Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

West Chester University held Purple 101 Day, on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Purple 101 Day painted West Chester’s campus because purple is the color of Relay for Life. The Relay for Life’s fundraiser will benefit the American Cancer Society.Relay for Life’s fundraiser will be April 26-27, from noon to noon, in the academic quad, for anyone interested in contributing or volunteering to the annual event.

Currently at WCU, 353 people and 55 teams are registered to take part in the event. To date, $9,461.62 has been raised for the effort.

For this fundraiser, people are asked to create teams which are comprised of about eight to 15 people. These teams fundraise for Relay for Life throughout the year prior to the event. The teams consist of cancer survivors, people who have known cancer victims and anyone who wants to support a good cause.

Relay for Life serves to raise money for the American Cancer Society to aid in cancer research and eliminating the disease. Along with raising money, the event also joins together survivors of cancer, people who are struggling with this disease, caregivers and the community as a whole.

Relay for Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of your American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gather at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.

The Relay for Life dates back to more than 20 years ago, where one man took it upon himself to raise money to support the efforts of the American Cancer Society. In the mid-1980’s, Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed, that was running marathons. In May 1985, Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer. That first year, nearly 300 of Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course.

While he circled the track those 24 hours, he thought about how others could take part. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Months later, he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

In 1986, 19 teams took part in the first team relay event on the track at the colorful, historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.

There are over 600 communities spanning 18 countries outside of the United States that currently part of the International Relay for Life (IRFL) movement. Through International Relay, survivors are given the spotlight to show that there is life after diagnosis. These “International Heroes of Hope” inspire other community members who have been touched by cancer. They are a testament to the progress that has been made in the fight against cancer and are changing the face of survivorship worldwide.

Communities across America, from big cities to small towns, are ready to Relay by spreading in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

If you are interested in more information, or participating in this event, you may visit for up-to-date resources, call 1-800-ACS-2345 for general locations, or email for West Chester University’s event, specifically.

Kerry Barth is a student at West Chester University majoring in professional studies with minors in journalism and health sciences. She can be reached at

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