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Q&A with Relay for Life event chairs

Q&A with Relay for Life event chairs

Relay for Life chairs oversee the rest of the committees to ensure the success of the event

By Hunter Ristau
As a Relay for Life chair, senior Ciara Pemberton leads the logistics and luminaries committee.

Senior Ciara Pemberton

JagWire staffer: How long have you been involved in Relay?

Ciara Pemberton: I’ve been involved in Relay for all four years. The first two years I just did Relay, I was on a team but I wasn’t on committee, last year I was on survivor dinner for the committee and I had a really good time and this year I’m a chair.

JW: What were your past leadership roles in Relay?

CP: Last year I was just on the committee and survivor dinner so I helped put it together. At the end of the event last year, I was thinking to myself this event means a lot to me and I’m just going to go for it. Wurtz picks his chair with suggestions from the previous years chairs so and I wasn’t on ELT.I just took a shot … and he asked me why I wanted to be a chair.I explained that my mom had had breast cancer so it really impacts me and the whole event means a lot to me. From there, he asked my teachers about me and got recommendations, he said that was a big reason why he chose me to be a chair this year. A couple of weeks later, I got put into a groupme with the other four chairs and from then on here I am.

JW: What all is involved in being a chair?

CP: It really has taken over my life. As chair you oversee two different committees for the event, so I’m in charge of Luminaria and ceremonies, which is one committee, and then logistics which is [another] committee. Since the fall, we got our committee members together so I’m a chair and then I have my two ELT members per committee and then we had sub-committee people which are all of our little helpers and so we got all of them together and we’ve been having meetings all fall.

JW: How do you use your leadership to impact the event?

CP: As a chair, I really want to help people in grades lower than me so that next year can be a success and all the years after that. I really just want to make the process as easy as possible because I know that it can be a bit confusing at first. The biggest thing for me was just to make this year was to make it as big as possible because the more we expand it, the more money we make and that’s the ultimate goal. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and its opened so many doors for me .

 

By Katya Gillig
As a Relay for Life chair, senior Jessie Coleman oversees decorations and silent auction.

Senior Jessie Coleman

JW: How long have you been involved in Relay?

Jessie Coleman: I was just a participant freshman year and then sophomore [year I] got on committee, junior year I was one of the ELTs and this year I’m a chair.

JW: What were your past leadership roles in Relay?

JC: Last year, I was one of the accounting ELTs with our current accounting ELT Gabbie Fitterer and me and her helped handle money things like that.

JW: Why did you want to become an event chair?

JC: I’ve had a lot of people in my family that have had cancer … like my grandpa and a bunch of my aunts, so it’s nice to do something that has a personal connection and is actively making a difference. Also it’s a lot of fun being able to plan this event and working the night of and seeing all of your hard work paid off. It’s a great group of people to work with and it’s honestly just a really cool thing.

JW: What all is involved in being a chair?

JC: I’m in charge of silent auctions decoration and sponsorship. My big thing has been going out to businesses and asking them for donations for a sponsorship and for our silent auctions. Anything you see the night of, so the photo booth, some of our main entrance areas [and] the posters we have up [has] been my committee’s been doing, under my leadership. We also make some more of the executive decisions about what qualifies as an incentive, what size the teams should be, when do we do certain things, do we change this about ceremonies. We’ve kind of helped do some of the basic things that people forget about like how big teams should be, how many campsites there should be, what walking track works better, a lot of the logistics but we do have a committee for that as well.

JW: How do you use your leadership to impact the event?

JC: I hope that it all runs smoothly and that all five of us the night of the event  … that the night of that it all runs smoothly and that we can enjoy the event and live in the moment. I hope that people from the community will come and see a bunch of high schoolers doing something really cool and really good for the world and can see the positive impact it makes. Also [I hope that] people affected by it people at Mill Valley can get involved and see why we spend so much time working on it.

 

By Hunter Ristau
As a Relay for Life chair, senior Abby Hoepner is in charge of the missions committee and the survivor dinner.

Senior Abby Hoepner

JW: How long have you been involved in Relay?

Abby Hoepner: I’ve been involved in Relay four years now. I started as a freshman in its first year.

JW:What were your past leadership roles in Relay?

AH: The first year there was pretty much just the one committee so I was just the committee member. As a sophomore and junior, I was the executive leadership team member in charge of decorations and this year I am a chair in charge of missions and survivor dinner.

JW: Why did you want to become an event chair?

AH: I’ve just really grown to love Relay a lot over the past four years. It started out as just a small part of something that I was a part of but it’s grown to be something that I’m really passionate about. I’ve just loved to be a part of it and I wanted to get more involved and have that leadership role and continue my involvement in it.

JW: What all is involved in being a chair?

AH: Being a chair, I meet with the other chairs to make event decisions and plan things like our rallies and things like that. I participate in a lot of group activities that we do as an entire committee like for fundraising purposes such as sponsorship or going to pick up trash at the speedway to raise money but then I also do some individual work to plan the survivor dinner. That’s a lot of working with [counselor Erin] Hayes to get that planned because it’s kind of a one person job. I’ll meet with our missions committee to plan our assemblies. So it kind of shuffles from working in a small group setting with the other chairs and Wurtz working individually to plan big picture things that deal with my committees and then working in smaller groups with my subcommittees.

JW:How do you use your leadership to impact the event?

AH: I hope that my leadership with the missions committee, since that is new this year, can bring more kids to the event which I think can impact our event both in terms of raising more money and also our community getting the kids involved in this. I think it’s awesome that we’re reaching out to kids to get them civically engaged. I hope to lend my hand in helping improve our event in anyway I can because it’s really exciting that we get to keep growing.

 

By Hunter Ristau
As a Relay for Life chair, senior Kate Backes leads the teams and accounting.

Senior Kate Backes

JW: How long have you been involved in Relay?

Kate Backes: I have been involved in Relay since my freshman year when I did it as a participant and then I joined committee the next year, my sophomore year.

JW: What were your past leadership roles in Relay?

KB: When I was a sophomore I was on the luminaria committee and then the next year I became ELT of silent auction and then this year I’m a chair.

JW: Why did you want to become an event chair?

KB: I wanted to become an event chair because I wanted to have more say in some of the bigger decisions involving Relay and I wanted to be as involved as I could this year.

JW: What all is involved in being a chair?

KB: Being a chair involves making some of the big decisions such as the day of Relay and the theme of Relay and we get to bring more fresh ideas to Relay as well rather than doing to same things every year.

JW: How do you use your leadership to impact the event?

KB: I would like to bring fresh ideas to Relay because I think that is what is going to raise the most money is doing things that we have done in the past three years. Also [I want to] to get people more excited and to get more people throughout the school involved.

 

By Hunter Ristau
As a Relay for Life chair, senior Annie Myers is in charge of activities and publicity.

Senior Annie Myers

JW: How long have you been involved in Relay?

Annie Myers: I’ve been involved in Relay for four years now since my freshman year

JW: What were your past leadership roles in Relay?

AM: My freshman year I was on the publicity and missions committee and then my sophomore year I was the chair of the publicity committee. Junior year I was the chair of the logistics committee and this year I’m an event chair overseeing the activities and publicity committee.

JW: Why did you want to become an event chair?

AM: Well I really love the Relay for Life event and what it does for the community and what it does for cancer research and everything with the American Cancer Society. I’ve been involved for a long time, it’s been a huge passion of mine and I’ve dedicated a lot of effort into making it better and I just wanted to take that extra step to be able to do that. I just love Relay for Life and everything we’re able to accomplish through it so as a chair I’m able to help more towards that end goal for cancer research and bringing the community together.

JW: What all is involved in being a chair?

AM: We started meeting last year at the end of the school year and we met several times over the summer and since then we’ve met about once a month just to check in, see everything that’s going on. We’ve been meeting a lot more frequently since the event is right around the corner. Basically, each of us chairs oversees several committees and what we do with that is make sure that everything is being done correctly that everything is up to date, we’re not behind so that we can work more efficiently see that everything is coming together well.

JW: How do you use your leadership to impact the event?

AM: Specifically for me since I’m working with activities and publicity, I’m hoping with publicity we’re able to get as much information out there, whether it be information about the event or about our committee members. We have our “Member Monday” posts and our “Why I Relay Wednesday” posts which really ties back into the missions of it. So it’s getting out the meaning behind it all, publicizing why we do this and what all is going to happen. And then with activities what we’re doing with that is will make people more excited for the event and make them excited to fundraise, to stay up late.

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