By Andrew Kelleher
Lansing Star staff writer
Relay for Life team, “’Young’ and the Restless”, led by Jennifer Young, held its first team fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 27, at Lansing’s Holiday Lanes Bowling Alley in an effort to strike out against cancer. Fifty percent of the proceeds went to Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.
Relay for Life, is an annual, 24-hour event run by the American Cancer Society in communities across the country. Young said, “the reason they do it for a whole 24 hours is that they figure cancer doesn’t sleep and neither will they.”
The goal is not only to raise money for cancer research, but also provide awareness about free resources offered by the American Cancer Society. These resources include things like “Road to Recovery” where volunteer drivers provide cancer patients with rides to and from treatment, College Scholarships exclusively for students with a history of cancer, and “Look Good…Feel Better” which teaches cancer patients how to handle the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. To see all of these resources visit the “Find Support and Treatment” webpage.
“Young” and the Restless team leader, Young, is a two-time cancer survivor. She fought off ovarian cancer at 17 and overcame breast cancer after being diagnosed two years ago. Jennifer said, “my first experience was so horrible. I mean honestly, I never want to live through anything like that again. I thought I was going to die. Not from the cancer, from the treatment.”
She explained that over the past 15 years, between the two times she had cancer, “things have changed a lot,” mostly due to American Cancer Society research. Not only has medication and treatment improved, but also knowledge on how to prepare a patient diagnosed with cancer.
April Kenney-Kauth, one of the participants in Saturday’s fundraising event, is a long-time friend of Young’s. When asked if she thought the fundraiser was a success, Kenney-Kauth said, “Yeah, I do. Every penny helps. There is a difference between politicians throwing thousands of dollars to help the cause and people like us, blue-collar, struggling to make ends meat, who choose to make a sacrifice to come out here. I feel like that means more because our dollars mean more to us.”
Joe Townsend, an employee at Holiday Lanes said, “we think it’s a great cause, worth donating to.” Holiday Lanes was very excited to host the event and is open to similar fundraising ideas in the future. For information contact Holiday Lanes Manager Lindsey Hayes at 517-337-2695.
Team members have set a minimum goal of $2,500. They hope to reach it by June 11, the date set for East Lansing’s Relay for Life. The event is to be held at East Lansing High School.
The city of Lansing is will host its own Relay for Life event one week earlier on June 3 at the Lansing Catholic High School track. It is not to late to get involved and sign up your own team.