Club plans Relay For Life event

Daniela Shekman and Daniel Kim

Editor’s note: The date and time of the Relay for Life event changed after this issue of Torch went into print. For updated information, please see the event website (

In a powerful show, the survivor lap at the Relay For Life event honors cancer survivors by having their families walk a lap around the football field. Sophia Marasco, Relay For Life mission chair, finds the lap empowering because both her mom and grandparents were impacted by cancer.

“When people in your life have cancer, it feels very helpless,” said Marasco in a video conference. “Being able to give back through Relay has definitely helped and has given me so many resources.”

Relay For Life is a movement created by the American Cancer Society, in which different communities nationwide participate to fundraise for cancer research. Glenbrook North is one of multiple participating high school chapters in Illinois.

In years past, Relay at GBN took place overnight from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the football field, Marasco said. Activities included sports, arts and crafts and speeches from guest speakers. This year’s event will be shorter, taking place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 8, and the activities will be adjusted to follow COVID-19 regulations.

The event will include a variety of activities including zumba and bracelet making, Marasco said. Shifts are scheduled to last 45 minutes to an hour so each group of participants can experience the activities in a shortened time frame.

Amanda Vogg, GBN Relay For Life sponsor, said in a video conference that she is ecstatic this year’s event will be held in person after last year’s was held virtually due to COVID-19.

“We love this club, we are so passionate about it, and the whole year we planned the event, so to be told that we are able to do it in person was amazing,” Vogg said.

Students are able to join the event by signing up as a team or as an individual on the Relay For Life website, Vogg said. Participants are required to raise a minimum of $50.

The luminaria ceremony features paper bags illuminated with glow sticks placed around the track. Each bag is dedicated to someone who has either lost his or her battle to cancer or is currently fighting cancer.

Since last year’s luminaria ceremony did not take place, Vogg said she is looking forward to participating in it this year.

“That’s the one that hits you in the gut. You feel it in your heart.

“It is so beautiful, I just can’t explain it,” Vogg said.