Local youth making waves with participation in Relay for LifeThe 2010 Relay for Life of South Washington County will be hitting the track June 4 at East Ridge High School and there will be quite a few youngsters from around Woodbury fielding teams for the event.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
The 2010 Relay for Life of South Washington County will be hitting the track June 4 at East Ridge High School and there will be quite a few youngsters from around Woodbury fielding teams for the event.
Ciara Wohlford has been participating in Relay for Life since 2006 with her family in honor of her aunt who is a cancer survivor.
But this year, Wohlford, an East Ridge High School student, is fielding a new team.
When she heard this year’s Relay for Life will be held at her high school, Wohlford asked her fellow Raptors cheerleaders to start their own fundraising team.
“I thought that cheerleaders should definitely be a part of that,” she said. “We should have the school involved if it’s going to be here.”
Wohlford is one of the captains for the “Cheering for a Cure” team.
“It’s great being able to come together and help one cause,” Wohlford said.
Wohlford said the “Cheering for a Cause” team will be hosting a variety of fundraising events including a garage sale, car washes and selling luminaria bags.
Wohlford said the team hopes to raise $3,000, which will go to the American Cancer Society.
“I think we can do more,” she said.
“Cheering for a Cure” isn’t the only East Ridge team on the track at the upcoming Relay for Life. In fact, school officials are hoping to have close to 20 teams, including a staff team, said principal Aaron Harper.
“It’s a community event, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very passionate about getting our kids involved,” Harper said. “High schools are hubs for the community, so the event really spoke to me.
“Plus we’re all touched by someone who has been affected by cancer.”
The ‘Team of Teams’
Woodbury resident Mike Bankers, a Hill Murray High School junior, has been involved with Relay for Life the for nine years.
The first year Bankers was involved in Relay for Life, the entire event was dedicated to his sister’s friend who has battled cancer.
“Everyone who is there is really into helping,” Bankers said. “It’s fun to be around them.”
Over the years Bankers has recruited many of his friends from around Woodbury to help fight for the cause and join his team which he has coined the “Team of Teams.” So far this year, Bankers said the team is at around six to 12 members.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to give back to people and your community,” Bankers said about the event that has participants walking around the track throughout the duration of the overnight event. “Sometimes I get tired, but that’s when I break out the caffeine.”
Bankers acknowledged the changes in store for the Relay with the Woodbury and Cottage Grove events combined into one event for the South Washington County community.
“I think its going to be a good thing, but it’s going to be a little different,” he said. “I think it will be more fun because there will be more people there.”
In order to raise money for this year’s Relay for Life, Bankers said he is looking to businesses for donations as well as hopefully hosting a “smash the car” event.
“We’re hoping to buy a cheap car and charge for swings at it,” he said.
Harper said he’s excited to see students taking it upon themselves to make a difference in their community for events like Relay for Life.
“Any time you can encourage youth to develop the habit of doing community service and standing for something, that is a good value to instill in our youth,” he said.
For more information on the 2010 Relay for Life of South Washington County, to donate, or to start a team, visit the official website at http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=23081&pg=entry