The gears are in motion for the eighth annual Jordan Scheer Memorial Children’s Relay for Life at Washington High School.
Each year, the high school leadership class and Student Council work together to raise money for the American Cancer Society and awareness about cancer. The relay is named in honor of Jordan Scheer, a WHS graduate who lost his battle to cancer shortly after his graduation in 2005.
The Scheer family continues to be a part of the annual tradition. To date, the children’s relay for Life has collected over $140,000 for the American Cancer Society.
“I believe the Jordan Scheer Children’s Relay for Life has impacted many students in positive ways,” said Cathy Jinkerson, Student Council co-adviser.
“Since this is our eighth year, the high school students remember participating as elementary students and want to continue the tradition,” she said. “It is rewarding to watch my high school students act as positive role models to the younger students and encourage them to live a healthy life.”
The relay is open to children in third through sixth grade as a way to get them involved in helping their community by celebrating survivorship, remembering loved ones lost to the disease and to fight back and take action against cancer.
This year’s event will be held Friday, April 26, at the WHS track. As in years past, registration will begin at 3:30 p.m. The event will run through 7:30 p.m.
The theme is “Let’s Dance the Night Away. Let’s Find a Cure Today. Let’s All Come Together and Do It the Disco Way!”
The financial goal is $24,000. Last year, students raised about $22,000.
Students can raise money for the relay by purchasing hope chains for 10 cents, luminaria bags for 25 cents or through pledge sheets. Hope chains and luminaria bags will be displayed the night of the relay.
Individual schools also will plan fund-raisers to help raise money. The school that raises the most money will be recognized during the closing ceremony.
“Many students are impacted by cancer. We have many who have lost parents, grandparents, siblings and other loved ones to thedisease,” Jinkerson said.
“We also currently have students who are fighting a courageous fight against the disease,” she noted. “No matter how cancer is affecting our students’ lives, we want them to know we care and that all of us can make a difference.”
Beginning this week, leadership students will visit 16 area grade schools and talk to students and teachers about the relay. In February, the chairs will present to the local parochial schools.
This year’s chairs are Lea Bierbaum, Michaela Edmond and Luke Hasenjaeger, all seniors, and Blake Straatmann, Kassidy Laughlin and Jenna Rose Backs, all juniors.
The event chairs are busy creating a video that features information about the relay, a look back at those affected by cancer and the celebration of life at previous relays and high school students demonstrating healthy life choices through food, fitness, sun protection and saying no to cigarettes.
Other students in the leadership class have been split up into committees including food, registration, decorations, sponsorships, memorial, entertainment, poster and essay, laps, education and security.
As in years past, a poster and essay contest will be held.
Students also will be encouraged to bring in pictures of relatives and friends who have cancer or have lost their battle to cancer to display on a memorial wall.
The Student Council raises money each year for the cost of the Relay. Funds are used to purchase snacks/juice for the students, decorations, lap trinkets and other needed relay supplies.
Student Council members are asking local businesses to help with lap trinkets — small prizes students collect as they finish various laps.
Educational laps will encourage kids to wear sunscreen, brush their teeth, exercise and other healthy habits. Donations of sunscreen samples, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and other items also are needed.
Those who would like to donate may contact Jinkerson, 636-231-2200, extension 9978.