Relay for Life walks for cause

080606-N-9860Y-007By News Editor: Kayla McClain

It is deeply unfortunate that many people lose their fight against cancer. That is why every year, The American Cancer Society hosts the Relay for Life walk to raise money for those with the disease. This year’s local walks are being held in May. There are several teams created, and two team captains are Howell High School’s alumni, Katie Bondie and Dan Terry.

“It’s easy to get involved,” Terry, Class of 2013, says. “Just show up to the event, or if you know someone with a team, just join theirs.”

Bondie’s team, the Wild West Walkers, is walking in the Milford event on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4. Bondie, Class of 2012, has friends and family who have been personally affected by cancer, and this convinced her to take action against the disease.

“A great friend of mine, Chris Wolak, just finished treatments for Leukemia last year. Unfortunately, another Howell alumni, Zac Cain, just lost the fight to colon cancer this month. I am not only walking in memory of my friends and loved ones, I am walking to help those that don’t have anyone to fight for them. I walk for perfect strangers because nobody should have to go through this fight alone,” Bondie says.

To get a better idea of how the event works, Bondie’s sister and Co-Captain, senior Cassie Bondie, is also on her team. She supports the relay, and her sister, any way she can.

“My sister ran a Relay for Life last year, and she had this really awesome experience,” Cassie says. “Basically, you raise money and you put a team together. There’s all these different teams that make up the event. When you get there, there’s a ton of on-site fundraisers, and you just walk around the track for 24 hours. Anyone can do it.”

Bondie’s team is raising money through multiple fundraisers and can/coin drives. They already gained $600, reaching a total of over $1000, and will be holding another fundraiser on Sunday, April 27 at Howell’s local VG’s.

“You basically set a goal for yourself,” Cassie says. “Our team goal was to reach $1,000, but now it’s more like $1,500, which is incredible. It means we’re doing well.”

Although the event involves hard work to raise money, it comes with many enjoyable and recreational activities to have fun.

“I’m in charge of entertainment!” Terry says. His Relay page reads, “It’s a fun time. Almost all of us have been touched by cancer in some way, so we’ve decided to make a difference by walking and raising money.”

As for Terry’s team, The Good Team Gang, they are walking Friday, May 9, and their goal is also $1,000. Terry encourages anyone to join or make donations.

Bondie agrees that this is not only beneficial, but entertaining.

“The Relay is a giant party, celebrating those who have survived and remembering those we have lost,” Bondie says. “There are a lot of activities, tons of entertainment, great people, and wonderful moments that make the whole event worthwhile.”

In retrospect, Bondie feels that helping does not stop here. She believes that, with everyone’s contribution, there will one day be a cure for all cancer. No matter the situation, all are eligible to volunteer and take one step forward to “creating more birthdays”.

“I would encourage others to join Relay because it is a life-changing event,” Bondie says. “Even if you or a loved one have not been directly affected by cancer, there are thousands of people around the world who are battling against this disease. It comes in many shapes and forms, some curable, and some not. Our job as members of the Relay for Life is to help change the world, save lives, and create more birthdays by raising enough money to find these cures.”

To find more information on joining Bondie or Terry for this event, go onto their official Relay for Life sites, or e-mail [email protected] They are always looking for members or donations to support their cause.

“I want my children and grandchildren to grow up in a world that is cancer-free,” Bondie says.