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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Sprinklers don’t spoil Relay for Life

    Students walk around the UA Mall Friday to raise money for cancer research at Relay for Life.
    Students walk around the UA Mall Friday to raise money for cancer research at Relay for Life.

    Despite the sprinklers going off on the UA Mall and rain pouring down around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, participants had fun supporting the annual Relay for Life, a 24-hour event held to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

    More than 1,000 people attended the event, which raised $52,000 – down from last year’s total of $56,000, said Corrine Walker, a molecular and cellular biology senior and part of the planning committee.

    The Charles Darwin Experience comedy troupe helped smooth over the sprinkler incident and kept the crowd entertained.

    “”They played along with the sprinklers going off and no one was stressed about it,”” said Kyle Marshall, a mathematics sophomore. “”The events kept everyone pumped up.””

    The sprinklers went off in sections so no one was completely soaked, Walker said.

    “”As each section went off, we were standing by to cover (the sprinklers) with chairs and rocks,”” Walker said.

    Organizers had everyone move their belongings off the Mall until Facilities Management could eventually turn off the sprinklers.

    Marshall also participated in the watermelon-eating contest, in which he said a 9-year-old girl beat him.

    “”It’s more for fun than a competition,”” Marshall said.

    Marshall and his team of seven members of the Math Cats club were there to support the cause rather than to find people to sponsor them to walk, he said.

    “”The atmosphere was really cool because it was a lot of people supporting the same thing,”” Marshall said. “”It was a really motivational and fun environment.””

    Marshall said no one on his team ended up sleeping, but they brought board games to play and solved math problems for fun.

    Misha Pangasa, who joined the Relay for Life organizing committee about a week before the event, said she thought it was a success.

    “”Any time you get a lot of people together to raise money, it’s a success,”” Pangasa said.

    It was Pangasa’s first time participating in Relay for Life. She said she was touched by the luminaria ceremony, in which lighted candles were placed in paper bags to honor people who have died from cancer, and a screen is shown that lists all the names.

    Although the event was supposed to go until 8 a.m. Saturday, organizers made the announcement to end the event early after rain started pouring at about 5:30 a.m.

    “”It was a big task to clean everything up while it was pouring, but we got it done,”” Pangasa said.

    The event has been getting smaller each year, and it isn’t clear why, said Jason Saunders, co-chair of the committee.

    “”We are just really happy with the turnout and glad whoever came out for it was there participating,”” Walker said.

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