Minooka Community High School Relay for Life leaders hoped to take another stand against cancer Friday.
The annual event, organized by National Honors Society members, provides students, faculty, staff and the community an opportunity to take part in 7.5 hours of activities to raise money for a good cause.
Donna Engel, adviser to the National Honors Society of Minooka High School, said she thinks the school continues the tradition of hosting Relay for Life “because of how cancer has impacted Minooka Community High School staff, students and their families.”
Engel said the school has lost three teachers to cancer in the past six years, and two students died of cancer last year.
The Relay for Life event kicked off with local cancer survivors coming together to walk the first lap of the event. Family, friends, coworkers and caregivers joined them.
Minooka Community High School teacher Trent Bontrager was parading the building during the survivors’ lap. He said he makes it a priority to take part in Relay for Life year after year.
“I had 12 scans, and they all came back clean,” he said, referring to his battle with brain cancer. “It’s been almost five years now.”
Bontrager said participating in the event has great meaning to him, in part because the “school community rallied support and brought donations to help.”
A new lap would begin every 30 minutes, and each one featured a different theme. Every lap around the building is about one-quarter mile, Engel said.
Minooka High School senior Grace McClimon said seeing the way the community came together for Relay for Life is humbling.
“I’m blown away by the event,” she said.
Officials said the goal is to raise $12,000 to donate to the American Cancer Society. This year’s Relay for Life generated an estimated $1,500 in donations through the day of the event.
Proceeds are allowed until Sept. 1 through the high school’s website.