Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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Cancer survivors walk the ‘Survivor Lap’ at Bronco Stadium at the Relay for Life in Mustang on Friday. (Staff photo by Jon Watje)

By Jon Watje
Managing Editor 

Purple is the color of cancer awareness and there was plenty of purple at Bronco Stadium on Friday night.

Mustang High School hosted its annual Relay for Life event that night. The 12-hour relay raised over $70,000 for cancer research and local programs. Different teams of students walked the track all night while food, games and activities were provided.

"This year’s relay was a very successful event," said Mustang High School senior Sara Wojcak, who serves on the MHS Relay for Life committee as Chair. "This year we raised about $78,000, which will go towards cancer research and programs in our community."

The relay kicked off at 7 p.m. on Friday night and lasted until 7 a.m. the following day.

Cancer survivors of all ages were on hand for the relay and were introduced in the opening ceremony. Each survivor stated what kind of cancer they had and how long they had it and each one of them wore a purple T-shirt with the motto ‘Finish the Fight’ written on the front.

Next, all the survivors got together and made their way around the track for what is known as the ‘survivors lap.’

"This is how we celebrate our survivors, by having all of them make a lap around the track together and we cheer them on," Wojcak said. "We also hold a ceremony for those who passed away from cancer to remember them."

Wojcak has served on the MHS Relay for Life committee for the past couple of years and served as co-chair on the committee last year. She said she wanted to be involved with the relay because cancer had an effect on her own family.

"My grandma and aunt had cancer so that had an impact on me," Wojcak said. "Cancer affects everyone in some way. Everyone knows someone who has cancer."

Wojcak said Mustang High School is the only high school in the state that holds a Relay for Life event. MHS has held the event for the past 12 years.

The history of Relay for Life can be dated back to May of 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern. A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event.

Since then, the Relay for Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.

For more information about Relay for Life and how you can donate to the American Cancer Society, visit www.relayforlife.org.

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