Teams Prepare to Raise $40,000 for Cancer Research

On April 11, 25 teams of Nebraska Wesleyan University students, faculty and staff will begin their 24-hour relay for cancer research.

Lap by lap on the Knight Field House indoor track, they hope to raise $40,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Nebraska Wesleyan’s annual Relay for Life, which is coordinated by the student organization, Colleges Against Cancer, begins at 6 p.m. and will include many family-friendly activities like a photo booth, miniature golfing, games, music, food and lots of walking. Traditional Relay for Life activities including a luminary ceremony in honor of loved ones who are battling cancer and those who have lost the battle, as well as a survivor walk will highlight the evening.

Teams will continue to walk until 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 12.

In addition to raising money for a good cause, the planning and preparation for such an event builds strong leadership skills and prepares student organizers for future jobs.

Take, for example, 2009 graduate Lauren Lineweber. 

As a college senior Lineweber agreed to chair NWU’s Relay for Life fundraiser following three years of participating on Relay for Life teams.

“I had very little knowledge about the American Cancer Society when I volunteered as a freshman,” said Lineweber.

Her leadership role as chairwoman in 2009 gave her the opportunity to work alongside American Cancer Society staff who evaluated her work and advised her on additional skills needed to do the job.

She also developed a passion for the organization. While she has not been directly affected by cancer, she has witnessed countless occasions where the work of the American Cancer Society has made a difference.

Shortly after earning her bachelor’s degree in communication, Lineweber became a temporary team recruitment caller for the American Cancer Society. Recently she was promoted to a community director of events for the Kansas City area. Her work now includes facilitating training, making presentations, consulting staff and volunteers, and supervising Relay for Life specialists to ensure they have the resources needed for their events.

“Had I not taken the risk to join a Relay for Life team my freshman year, I would have never dreamt that four years later I would be in the position that I am, working for a cause that I am passionate about for an organization I truly believe in.”

There’s still time to form or join an NWU Relay for Life team. Visit www.relayforlife.org and search for “Nebraska Wesleyan.” To purchase a luminary for the NWU event, contact Hailey Esch.

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The NWU community will gather for its annual Relay for Life fundraiser on April 11.
Cancer survivors participate in the traditional "survivors lap."
Attendees gather for announcements and entertainment at the 2013 Relay for Life.
Luminaries line the indoor track in memory of those who have lost the battle against cancer.
Lauren Lineweber ('09) who chaired NWU's 2009 Relay for Life turned the experience into her life's work.