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  • Writer's pictureBen Hicks

LHS to Host Second ACS Relay For Life

Loveland High School’s Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) recently announced that they will hold their second annual Relay For Life event on April 19th of this year. Last year’s successful event at Tiger Stadium was dedicated to former girls basketball coach Darnell Parker, culminating in a fun-filled evening for students and staff alike, along with $20,000 raised for cancer research.

Relay For Life serves as one of the largest fundraising initiatives worldwide, as over 5,000 events are held globally on the campuses of countless universities and high schools. SALT will work with the American Cancer Society to sponsor and organize the event. The ACS is the United States’ largest volunteer health organization and will provide assistance and resources for the dozens of LHS students who will work as members of committees to plan for the event.

Prior to the 2022-23 school year, SALT’s four senior interns, along with staff liaison Brian Baugh, decided that the group needed to organize a positive event to connect the Loveland community and school district. After some research, the team decided on Relay For Life, an event that began in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington, due to the strength, and perhaps, stubbornness, of one local surgeon, Dr. Gordon Klatt.

Over the course of 24 hours, Dr. Klatt walked without interruption for 83 miles around a local high school track, and with the help of friends and family, raised $27,000 and invaluable exposure for cancer awareness.  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.

After serving as co-chairs of the event last year, Gabby Saletta (12) and Ben Hicks (12) will serve as the chief organizers of this year’s Relay, while Mackenzie Liu (11) and Liam Amy (11) will train as the co-chairs in preparation for the 2025 event.

Over the next three months, SALT will begin to recruit local organizations, businesses, clubs, and students to form Relay teams consisting of between eight and fifteen individuals, which will raise hundreds of dollars each, and continue Dr. Klatt’s legacy by walking around the track at Tiger Stadium for six consecutive hours. The official goal of this year’s Relay is to raise north of $40,000 for the American Cancer Society, before and through the six-hour event in April. Relay For Life will include a survivorship walk, a candlelight vigil, and team spirit competitions, along with the actual relay portion of the event. Students from around the country have described the event as a 6-hour-long school party.

SALT will hold a Kickoff event in the main gymnasium during 7th bell on Friday, March 1st, which will officially open the campaign towards $50,000 raised in our fight against cancer. In the meantime, reach out to Mr. Baugh, Mr. Bryant, or any of the chairs with questions regarding Relay For Life.

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