Lezhur Ledger: Relay for Life a fun-raiser

April 26, 2007

I could smell the GUGS burgers all the way from the Leavey Center—the scent of a barbeque spread through the clear spring air faster than the keenest relayers. As I got closer to the source of the delicious aroma, the music got louder, the crowd got rowdier and, turning into Harbin Field, I stumbled into the biggest party of Saturday night.

The field looked like a combination of a Bedouin settlement, an Oriental bazaar and a children’s fair. There were tents as far as the eye could see. All the summer trends were here: floral Hawaiian, fluorescent brights and the nautical color scheme of the Hoya Blue tent. If it weren’t for the numerous white and purple Relay For Life balloons, this tent city could have been easily mistaken for a mass, al fresco slumber party.

It would have not disappointed the most demanding Georgetown partygoer. Although at least one of the team members had to keep walking around the track at all times, the rest were free to party. There was the pimped-out tent with a widescreen television, ready to indulge its occupants with a late night video game and popcorn. As I moved deeper into tent town, I also found several birthday celebrations, plenty of dance parties and beer, as well as rumors of a make-out contest. A typical Saturday night, but this time all of the parties were in one place. For those craving a nicotine fix, there was even small community of smokers, who walked around the pitch and did not seem perturbed by the fact that this was a cancer fundraiser.

Things really heated up with the appearance of the streaker. I followed him in the vague hope he might lead me to the contest, since he was dressed for the part.

“He was running kinda fast, so it was hard to see anything, but his butt looked quite cute,” said Jane Yu (COL ’08).

Unfortunately, he treated the late night revelers to only two laps around the field before disappearing into the night.

The make-out contest never happened, although several people making out around me could have won had they been given a chance to participate. At 3:00 a.m., with four more hours to go, people began to snuggle into their sleeping bags. The party was winding down, and there wasn’t even a single DPS officer in sight.

I tried to keep the spirit going. Having collected colorful leis and other garlands, as well as a ‘happy birthday’ tiara, I went from tent to tent trying to wake people up and get them to continue walking or running or doing anything besides sleeping. If you saw or heard about the Relay Fairy that was probably me.

At five a.m., the Relay for Life turned into the Relay for Sleep and I called it a night.

I never got that juicy GUGS burger that night. However, when I woke up covered in leis, I realized that this fundraiser was as much about the fun as about the raising.

For the record, some $277,000 thousand dollars were raised to fight cancer.

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