MARQUETTE - Northern Michigan University's Relay For Life event kicked off at noon today in Vandament Arena.
"We feel really good about this year," said relay committee co-chairwoman Rosemary Magidsohn, a nursing major. " There's just a lot of energy."
This is the 10th anniversary for the NMU Relay for Life, held to honor, celebrate and remember those affected by cancer.
Greg Prunick of Alger County Relay for Life holds wooden banner made by Modern Woodsmith of Munising that will be raffled off during the Northern Michigan University Relay for Life. The NMU relay began at noon today and runs through noon Saturday in Vandament Arena. (Photo courtesy of Greg Prunick)
With the latest numbers showing 410 registered participants on a total of 50 teams and $19,428.89 raised, the event is on track to make its $25,000 fundraising goal.
"I'm really hoping we hit it," Magidsohn said.
Participants will have plenty of activities to keep them occupied off the track, with basketball and dodgeball tournaments, karaoke, Zumba, quidditch games and even a battle of the bands event. The winner will open for one of the groups hosted on campus by Northern Arts and Entertainment.
Magidsohn, a junior, said the buzz on campus about the annual relay has been a bit louder this year, thanks to increased efforts to get the word out.
"One of our new things is we have two PR majors on our committee and they've really done a lot with social media, Twitter, Facebook, getting ahold of all different media sources," Magidsohn said. "So, there's just more energy with people talking about it. Numbers are up, participants and money and everything."
Throughout the night, people will be able to bid on a number of raffle items donated by local organizations and businesses, including an item from the Alger County Relay for Life.
After receiving permission from Northern officials to use the university's logo, Modern Woodsmith of Munising created a wooden banner using the logo and Northern's wildcat image.
The Relay for Life Event runs through noon Saturday.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.