On Friday, Apr. 4, UNC Charlotte will host Relay For Life inside the Barnhardt Student Activity Center at 6 p.m.

With 44 teams and nearly 900 participants signed up, almost every major campus organization is taking part in the event.

The Relay For Life website explains what a “Relay” event is, “At Relay for Life events, communities across the globe come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease that has already taken too much.”

Relay For Life UNC Charlotte Event Chair Jessica Connors adds, “First thing to know, this is not a running event. Each organization will have an on-site fundraiser and the event is kind of like a big carnival.”

Survivors of cancer are ‘VIPs’ at the event and kick off the relay event with a survivor lap at the beginning of the night. After the lap, survivors will speak throughout the night leading up to a luminary ceremony.

“The luminary ceremony is my absolute favorite part of relay,” says Connors. “This is when we remember those who we have lost to cancer and pledge ourselves to find a cure.”

The luminary ceremony begins with a speaker sharing a story of how cancer has affected their life. Participants will then all crack a glow stick to serve as a flame to represent the hope to find a cure for cancer. After glow sticks are lit there, will be a silent lap in honor of everyone who has lost their battle to cancer.

Connors shares that her favorite thing about the luminary is, “seeing the emotion and how we have so much passion for fighting for cancer because there is nobody that does not know someone who is or has been affected by cancer.”

Bags will then be set up in memory of those lost to cancer. Participants are encouraged to place their glow sticks in the memorial bags.

With $24,000 dollars already raised, UNC Charlotte has exceeded the halfway point of their $40,000 goal. Last year the event grossed $37,178.

The Alpha Delta Pi and Sigma Phi Epsilon team has lead fundraising efforts with over $8,000 raised. Teams of Sigma Kappa/Phi Sigma Kappa and Chi Omega/Sigma Tau Gamma are in second and third, respectively.

Connors shares that everyone should come out, donate and raise awareness for the cause, “Anyone can come out, we would love to see more students, community members and survivors there.”

If you would like to register to raise money for Relay For Life, visit: www.relay.org/unccnc.

Andrew James is a Senior Communication Studies major and Journalism minor. He has worked for the Niner Times in the news and video departments since his freshman year at UNC Charlotte. After college, Andrew aspires to be a television news reporter. Outside of school, Andrew enjoys running and hiking in the mountains.