Culver Relay for Life set to return April 10

Jeff Kenney
Citizen editor

This year's Culver Relay for Life, though slated for an earlier date than the 2008-launched event has been held up to now, aims to continue the tradition of raising at lest $100,000 towards battling cancer each year.

As in years past, teams pledge financial commitments for laps walked in the all-night event at Culver Academies’ Multi-purpose Building, which goes well beyond simple fund-raising and instead honors survivors, memorializes victims, and actively encourages those presently battling the disease. This year's Relay will start Friday evening, April 10.

American Cancer Society representative for the event Liz Manning notes cancer survivors from the area at large are encouraged to participate in the pre-event survivor’s dinner starting with registration at 4:30 p.m. (those interested in the free event are asked to RSVP at 574-257-9789; a caregiver is welcome to attend with the survivor, and transportation will be provided between the dinner, at the White-DeVries Rowing Center, and the Relay itself).

Community members are welcome at the event itself as well, of course (teams may register at, with a $10 commitment per member). And though the popular Culver Comm. High School Sports Spectacular takes place the same night, students, parents, and faculty are encouraged to come to Relay after that event concludes.

Says Culver Academies senior Morgan Hartman, this year’s Relay for Life chair, "Relay for Life this year is going to be better than it ever has been before on so many levels. Our entertainment is going to be fantastic, there will be tons of food, and most importantly our Luminaria Ceremony (which silently memorializes lost loved ones and honor survivors) will be moving beyond words. Our goal this year is $100,000, and while we are still below $20,000 raised currently, every time I explain what Relay is all about or ask people why they Relay, I have absolute faith in the Culver community to pull through.

Fellow senior Lauren Engelbrecht, the event’s entertainment chair, lists among the night’s activities an obstacle course bouncy house, pie eating contest, a dunk tank, several student performances, the famous Mr. Relay competition (during which male participants ask for donations for their best appearance in a dress!), henna, a photo booth, and more.

Relay for Life at Culver is especially unique because it is student organized event.

“When members from the entire community come together as one Culver for this event and take a stand against cancer,” says committee member Maddie Sorg, “it illustrates how supportive and compassionate our community is.

As in years past, Culver Academies’ Vedette newspaper will be on hand to cover the event. Says Lucy Battersby of the Vedette staff, “Each year, the Vedette and the Quill, Culver Academies’ student-run publications, run an all-night blog with interviews, videos, poems, art, and updates on events taking place. We encourage all members of the community, not just Academies’ students, to contribute to and read the blog. It’s an opportunity to not only connect with the Culver community, but with people around the world. Each year, the blog attracts views and donations from as far as Kuwait, China, and Russia.”

That blog will be available to keep up with the events at