UNCP celebrated its 4th Relay for Life on April 16


With the temperature hovering around the 90 degree mark, UNC Pembroke’s 4th annual Relay for Life kicked off April 16 on the University Center Mall.

 relay for life

Relay coordination - From left: Steven Jernigan, 2011 coordinator, Emily King, 2010 coordinator, Ryan Chavis, 2009 coordinator, and Chastity Schwarz, a four-year volunteer.

In the first hour, footballs and banners flew through the air, tents went up everywhere and a game of Red Rover, Red Rover broke out.

As much fun as the participants had over the next 24 hours, all that energy was for a good cause, as Dr. William S. Thomas said. He is a business professor and the founding faculty advisor to the campus Relay for Life, which expects to raise approximately $30,000 this year for the American Cancer Society.

“There are a lot of young people at this event who will hear a message that will help them live longer healthier lives,” Dr. Thomas said. “This is where the education starts for our students. We’re planting a seed that they will carry with them wherever they go.”

Emily King, a senior business administration major, is the coordinator of the 2010 Relay for Life at UNCP. She was wearing two photo buttons.

 relay for life

Tessie Dugger wheeled laps for Sigma Alpha Iota, the music fraternity.

“This is an aunt who has breast cancer, and this is an uncle who passed away from colon cancer,” King said. “Cancer touches everyone’s life.”

Besides a 10-person campus committee, King got help from Ryan Chavis, a 2009 graduate and last year’s coordinator, and Steven Jernigan, a junior who will be the next coordinator.

The planning goes on year round, she said. Every group had a theme and some were very original.

The UNCP Bookstore was sporting a Wild West theme with cowboy cookies and cactus juice, said Valeria Turnmire, a volunteer.

“We work on this all year, and we hope to raise $5,000,” Turnmire said. “I’ll be here all night having fun.”

The student Association for Campus Entertainment didn’t set a goal, but they had hotdogs on the grill and pitched large tents.

“We’re doing what we can to help out cancer victims and research,” Jermaris Genwright said. “It’s going to get cool tonight, but we’re prepared.”

Christina Poteet, associate director of the Center for Leadership and Service, had a date night theme for her booth.

“We’re raffling off a date with a U.S. Marine,” Poteet said. “We’re matchmaking with love ads and selling kisses and chocolate covered strawberries, everything for the perfect date.”

ztaZeta Tau Alpha and Katie Locklear had a beauty pageant theme – “Taller than Tiaras.”

“ZTA has raised money all year for breast cancer awareness,” Locklear said. “That was my platform as Miss UNCP -  ‘Winning for a Cure.’”

Alumni Association President Floyd Locklear and Director James Bass were there with 10 volunteers.

 “We’ll raffle an iPod and other gifts,” Locklear said. “We’re happy to be a part of this event.”

Bass said fun and a good cause are a winning recipe. As volunteers from UNCP’s Division of Information Technology put several pork shoulders on a cooker, it looked like Bass made a good call.