Loveland, Ohio - In partnership with the American Cancer Society, Loveland High School will hold its first annual Relay For Life this May. Relay for Life is a campaign led by the American Cancer Society, with over 5,000 annual events held globally across twenty countries. The initiative, hosted on countless university and high school campuses, raises money and awareness for the largest volunteer health organization in the US.
The event at Loveland High School will be sponsored and organized by the LHS Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT). Nearly 60 students from LHS’s largest leadership group will organize the event through twelve specific Relay Committees. Seniors Skylar Lundeen (12), Courtney Haneline (12), Olivia Raby (12), and Alex Saletta (12) serve as the chairs and chief organizers for the event, with juniors Ben Hicks (11) and Gabby Saletta (11) serving as co-chairs. The twelve committees each have a chair and an additional four to five group members to prepare for the event, which will be held at Tiger Stadium on Friday, May 5th, from 6pm to midnight.
Relay for Life was founded in 1985 when Dr. Gordon Klatt, a surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, decided to use his passion of marathoning to raise money and awareness for cancer. Klatt announced his plan to walk continuously around the track at a local university for 24 straight hours, and allowed friends and family to donate $25 to walk alongside him for 30 minute intervals. After 24 consecutive hours of walking, Klatt had logged 83 miles, and raised over $27,000 for cancer research. Following his inaugural relay, Klatt began recruiting teams in the Tacoma area to hold their own Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Eventually, Dr. Klatt’s message would contagiously expand across the nation and the world, and today, Relay For Life has raised more than $5 billion worldwide.
SALT’s staff leader Brian Baugh said that after discussion with the four senior chairs this past summer, it became apparent that SALT needed to organize a positive event to aid in connecting the Loveland community with the school district. The Relay For Life campaign, already hosted by numerous Cincinnati area high schools, served as a perfect opportunity for SALT to strengthen the Loveland community.
SALT will begin to recruit local teams, clubs, organizations, businesses, and students to form 10-person Relay teams, which will raise $500 each, and continue Dr. Klatt’s legacy by walking around the track at Tiger Stadium for six consecutive hours. Loveland SALT has an official goal of raising $10,000 for the American Cancer Society, but with the help of students and local businesses, could realistically raise close to $50,000. The 6-hour event in May will include a survivorship walk, a candlelight vigil, and team spirit events. Students from around the country have described the event as a 6-hour long school party.
SALT will hold a kickoff event after school in the media center on February 25th to officially open the Relay for Life Campaign to end cancer. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to Mr. Baugh, Mr. Bryant, or any of the chairs with questions regarding Relay For Life.