Relay for Life’s ‘Stupendous’ In-Person Return

Story posted April 25, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Alison Patton

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.--  Relay for life at Penn State raises money for the American Cancer Society, but everything was put on pause when the 2020 pandemic hit.

The 2023 walk-a-thon was the second in-person event. The 2021 walk-a-thon was held virtually, but still had a variety of events, like informational sessions, games and even yoga.

Instead of having a traditional Luminaria Ceremony with physical paper bags and tea light candles, a video was shown and posted on the organization’s Instagram instead. The video had graphics of paper bags with the names of cancer victims.

Penn State student Alyssa Cook said being back in person is “stupendous.”

“It’s nice to walk with a bunch of new people, meet new people and socialize. It’s been a really great time,” Cook said.

For the 2023 event, volunteers were permitted to walk around the indoor track at Penn State’s Multi-Sport Facility.

Cancer survivors took the first walk around the track to celebrate their battle.

Even though Cook said neither she nor her family have been affected by cancer, she sees it brings the community together.

“It really lets you know what's going on in your community and the people around you and I think that's always a heavy hit,” Cook said.

Relay for life might have been in-person, but the Luminaria Ceremony and the total amount raised, were both live streamed.

Alison Patton is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email