YSU walks for a cure

Relay for Life of Youngstown will return to Youngstown State University’s Beeghly Center for its 12th year. The event will be held from 6 p.m. on Friday until noon on Saturday.

The American Cancer Society hosts the nationwide fundraiser for cancer research. Participants pledge to walk or run in the event in exchange for donations. More than 4 million people walk in the relays worldwide.

The American Cancer Society’s goal was to raise $1,000 in Youngstown.

According to the Relay for Life of Youngstown’s website, 29 teams have already raised $22,084.

Francesca Kostek, income development manager for the American Cancer Society, said YSU has been receptive toward the project since its inception.

“The university has graciously opened its door to us year after year. We are very thankful to be able to use such an amazing venue,” Kostek said.

Kostek said the American Cancer Society hopes the event will bring the community together to honor loved ones.  

“Relay For Life is an amazing opportunity for many groups of community members and students to spend 18 hours fighting back against cancer,” she said.

Kara Miller, president of Sigma Alpha Lambda, will serve her second year as a team captain. Miller has been involved with the relay for five years.

“I stay involved because I love the message and raising money fund research and all the stuff they do,” Miller said.

She said she’s excited to walk and lead her team again.

“Yeah, I’m planning on taking a nap. We’re going to try to keep a person on the track at all times,” Miller said.

Lucas Politsky, YSU senior and Leslie H. Cochran University Scholars and Honors Program representative, has participated in relays at Boardman, Poland and YSU. Politsky keeps attending the event for friends and family.

“I want to support the cause. My friend’s mom recently passed away from cancer,” Politsky said. “We see people in our families and our communities, and it’s important [to] support those that are dealing with this and fund the research to support them.”

Kostek said the event is open to the public and students do not need to be on a team to participate.

This year’s event marks the largest number of student teams participating in the relay.

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