My friend Sasha was the Ceremonies Chair for Relay for Life this year and has been working really hard planning the ceremonies since last semester. She dragged me to a piñata store earlier this year to see if they could build this GIANT piñata that spells out cancer. Then we went to Home Depot to get all this Styrofoam for this enormous cake she was going to make. As if doing all this stuff with her wasn’t enough, she then made me join her team.
At the time, all I knew about Relay for Life was that Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) put it on and that there were lots of fun activities, games, and good food. It kind of sounded like a carnival so I signed up for her team and for my sorority’s team. I figured I could stack up some house points and get credit for being a good friend at the same time.
A month before the event, I was informed that it lasted 24 hours and someone was supposed to be walking on the track at all times. All of a sudden it didn’t seem as fun, especially because I was going to be camping out, but not somewhere cool. I was going to be in a tent on the brightly light Cromwell field, where I can literally look up and see the window of my cozy apartment.
But on Saturday morning I woke up at 12pm and walked over to the track. There were tons of people walking around, lots of games like water balloons tosses and Frisbee, food vendors off to the side, and a woman giving anyone who was willing to donate their hair haircuts.
I saw the giant CANCER piñata and Sasha told me that people were going to hit it with a bat (sidenote: thanks Sasha, that was obvious. It was a piñata.) She then elaborated saying that the idea was that as you hit it you were “beating cancer.” Get it? She’s clever, I know.
I also spotted the styrofoam cake, which turned out to be for survivors. Each survivor or anyone who knows a survivor could make a candle and stick it on the cake to celebrate their birthdays to come. I made one for my best friend Mimi, who was diagnosed with cancer in 8th grade. I was even going to cut my hair, but I know she’d think I’d look terrible with short hair, so the candle would have to do.
I was worn out from Songfest the night before, so after making a candle I went back to Sasha’s tent. I couldn’t figure out how to set it up properly… so it just collapsed, and I collapsed on top of it. I was going to just relax and lie there, but then I fell asleep. It was a great nap except that these guys seemed to think I was part of their soccer game and kept kicking their ball over to me.
I left Relay for Life, which looking back on I wish I hadn’t because that is when most of the ceremonies take place, but I came back around 2:00am with some friends. Everyone was staring at us as we trekked over to Cromwell and made our way around the track. It probably had something to do with the fact that we had just had a paint fight and were still covered in it. I’m blonde, but you couldn’t really tell from the fact that I was covered in green, blue and orange paint. That’s a story for another time, though.
So with multi-colored hair, I sat down with my group of friends who had been there all night. They were kind of boring so I left and took part in a dance competition. I lost (surprise!) so I left that and played in a Frisbee game, then joined some guys throwing the football around. When I rejoined my group, they were still boring, so I decided to start a game of Catch Phrase, which is always a party starter. We played Catch Phrase for 3 hours and I ended up going to sleep in Sasha’s tent around 6:00am.
When I told Mimi how I ran around, made a candle, almost cut my hair (she was really happy I didn’t), and slept on a track for her, all she asked was, “Did you manage to pass out in the tent this time?” I sent her a picture to prove I was indeed in there. That made her really happy.