​Preparing for the Relay for Life

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

The University Rotaract Club’s second annual Relay for Life is scheduled for the end of the month, and club president Caroline Sweetin and her team have been working for months to prepare. And prepare they have.

The Rotaract Club, which is an affiliate of the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club, has raised $18,835 as of this printing. With the relay coming up on Saturday, Oct. 26 and a club goal of $50,000, Sweetin said they hope to continue to use the event as a means of raising awareness for the cause as well as funds to support cancer research through the American Cancer Society.

“Right now, we have 35 teams signed up and 144 total participants. Our goal is to have a total of 50 teams,” she said.

“Cancer has directly or indirectly played a role in everyone’s life, and it’s often an incredibly isolating experience. Through Relay for Life, we hope to celebrate and honor those affected while helping to provide the physical resources necessary to help keep life as normal as possible throughout treatment.”

For Sweetin, the cause is personal. Her grandfather passed away after a battle with lung cancer, and her grandmother is a breast cancer survivor.

“Seeing how hard it was for my parents to care for their parents during that time and realizing the impact it had on my family made me recognize the need for better resources and strong relationships throughout the process. As someone who is at high-risk to develop cancer, I’m grateful for the continued research and less invasive surgeries that have been developed as a result of contributions to research by the American Cancer Society,” she said.

The Relay for Life is scheduled from 4–8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, on Hardee-McGee Field at Harris Stadium, Sewanee.

“This year we have really tried to emphasize the communal aspect of Relay as all of the money that we raise stays in Franklin, Marion, and Grundy counties. Students at The University are only here for 4 years, but we want this event to reach far beyond campus organizations and into the lives of the people who live on and around the mountain long-term,” Sweetin said.

For more information about the event and how to donate, visit the Rotaract Club’s Facebook page, or go to www.relayforlife.org/sewaneetn