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Relay for LifeKemberly Sanchez prepared to crown the queen of the Kaw Valley Relay for Life this summer in Bonner Springs. (Photo by Mariah Seifert)
Relay for Life
While other 17-year-olds were spending Friday, June 14, at the pool or with friends, Bonner Springs, Kan., resident Kemberly Sanchez was at the local track and field setting up and announcing games for participants of the 2013 Kaw Valley Relay for Life.
Established by the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life is a 12-hour, overnight, event remembering those who have died because of cancer and also celebrating those who have won the battle against cancer.
After having been a spectator at Relay for Life in years past, Sanchez decided to be a part of the 2013 Relay for Life as her senior project at Bonner Springs High School.
Senior projects, though there may be some variations, are found in many high schools counting as a big percentage of their senior year grade.
Sanchez explained that volunteering for her senior project seemed like a good way to help the community, to have some fun, and to better herself.
“I wanted to volunteer for something that meant something to me. My grandmother had passed away because of cancer,” Sanchez said.
After deciding to join the Relay for Life team with her mentor, Sanchez was assigned the job of choosing, making, and executing a few activities. The final 18 activities chosen for the day had names such as Feature Partners, Breakfast Scramble, and Suck it Up.
In addition to the intermingled games and activities, the night included the Survivor Lap, the Luminaria Ceremony, and the Fight Back Ceremony.
Though they weren’t said directly to Sanchez, many other volunteers were told of all the great feedback by participants and spectators about the activities Sanchez had organized. By the end of the day Sanchez felt very accomplished and tired.
“[At] the end of the night I wanted to sit down and sleep. I felt proud and accomplished because my senior project was done,” Sanchez said.
From the beginning of the senior project Sanchez was a little nervous but by the end she realized that this is a good way to get students involved.
By doing this senior project, Sanchez has a new-found respect for those who had been through the fight of cancer.
She said that she would highly recommend volunteering to others.
“It’s really fun. You and everyone involved benefit [and] it makes you feel good,” Sanchez said.
Next year’s Kaw Valley Relay for Life will be held at the Bonner Springs High School track at 7 p.m. June 13. All information for signing up or participation is on the race’s website, www.relayforlife.org.