Student advocates encourage others to sign up for cancer awareness relay

Morgan Kelly

The Colleges Against Cancer student organization is hosting a “blitz week” this week to encourage people to sign up for the Relay for Life free of charge.

The usual sign-up fee is $10, so Hannah Eckerman, junior in elementary education and executive chairwoman of the organization at Iowa State, said she encourages students to sign up online now.

“The goal is to get as many people as possible signed up this week as we can,” Eckerman said.

The theme for this year’s Relay for Life is Superheroes.

“We are trying to get a big push for people to sign up before Winter Break because once we get back, Relay is pretty soon,” said Erin Richardson, senior in child, adult and family services and communication studies. Richardson is the co-entertainment chairman for Colleges Against Cancer.

The team has been spreading the information through emails, display cases, booths, chalking the sidewalks and sign boards in preparation for this week and for Relay for Life, which will take place in March.

Although this is Eckerman’s second year with the organization, it’s her first year being an executive chairwoman.  She has experience planning Relay for Life before because she did it for many years in her hometown.

She said events like this are important for Iowa State because “it makes students aware that cancer does affect everyone whether you know one person or 10. I don’t think a lot of people understand that one person can make a difference.”

This is the first year there will be a talent show at Relay for Life.

To help spread the word about recruiting talents, the group has used word of mouth, and members have encouraged their friends, family and other committee members to tell their friends and family about it, Richardson said.

Additional entertainment will be showcased along with the talent show.

“We will have a hypnotist, we bring in Cy and the cheerleaders, hopefully the basketball or football team will come show support and do something, organizations like Dub H perform, and little activities to get the relayers involved go on all night,” Richardson said.

Kyle Miller, junior in materials engineering, is the non-greek recruitment chairman for the Colleges Against Cancer. He said that he goes to residence halls and student organizations to spread the word about blitz week and Relay for Life.

He said Relay for Life is like one big 12-hour party, so show up and have a good time.

“It doesn’t cost to go, and you don’t have to commit. So, if you’re just leaning on the edge, then come. You can leave early, we won’t judge you,” Miller said.

Blitz week ends Nov. 15. To sign up for Relay for Life, visit

The group is also holding a Pizza Hut fundraiser event Nov. 13 at the Ames Pizza Hut locations at 620 Lincoln Way and 436 South Duff Ave. for dine-in, delivery and carry out.