Mississippi College

MC Hosts Relay for Life on the Quad

March 5, 2009

Mississippi College's Quad will resemble a track as MC hosts its annual Relay for Life race to benefit the fight against cancer.

MC faculty, staff and students begin the race on Friday April 3 at 6 p.m. Whether they're walking or sprinting, participants should reach the finish line on the Clinton campus Saturday April 4 at 7 a.m. In case of rain, activities move to Alumni Gym.

More than 20 years ago, Relay for Life events originated around the country to benefit the American Cancer Society. Today, more than three million Americans are involved each year.

MC student Jarrod Gant of Laurel, the event chairman on campus, said the goal this year is to raise $20,000 to contribute to the ACS battle against cancer. "We are trying to raise awareness about early detection and prevention of cancer because 50 percent of cancer is preventable," he said. "The Mississippi College family, including students, faculty and staff is the perfect opportunity to spread awareness."

Signs are posted on trees and other spots on the Quad to promote the race and spread the latest information about cancer.

"Personally, I'm involved because several people in my family have passed away from cancer," Gant said. "I am doing this so that others will not have to go through losing a loved one."

He and other organizers with campus groups are encouraging teams to sign up. The website for more information is www.relayforlife.org/hindsyouth.

Activities to help with the race are sprouting up all over metro Jackson. Chick-Fil-A in the Jackson area is teaming with the American Cancer Society by donating a percentage of the restaurants' entire day's sales on Thursday March 12. The list includes Chick Fil-A restaurants in Clinton, County Line Road in Jackson, Flowood, Madison, Northpark Mall and in downtown Jackson.

The race in April, Gant said, is designed to "celebrate those who have won the battle against cancer, but also remember those we've lost to cancer."

MC student groups are showing lots of hustle for the Relay for Life. The Pink Ladies, an independent team of MC students, is among the groups raising money.

So far, they've collected about $200, said Erika Bingham, 20, an MC junior from Kilmichael. Members are selling balloons with hand-written messages at the MC cafeteria. They are also selling items at the concession stands at intramural games. There are more than a dozen members pitching in.

"It's been a great way for a group of friends to do something for a great cause," said Bingham, an elementary education major.

They're doing more than raising cash. The Pink Ladies will wear their walking shoes as they take turns throughout the 13-hour relay on the MC campus.

For more information about the American Cancer Society or to make a donation, call 1.800.227.2345 or 601.362.8874. Jarod Gant can be reached at 601.543.4889.

Photo: Pictured Relay for Life volunteers are MC freshmen Kimberly Watts of New Orleans and Cayla Weeks of Madison.

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