Allie Bahcall of Buffalo Grove will leave this weekend for summer camp in Michigan. But she’ll take a break from those activities next week, when she returns home for the annual Buffalo Grove/Stevenson Relay for Life.
“This is something I really have a passion for,” said Bahcall, who just graduated from . “I really want to see a cure for cancer in my lifetime.”
She will be among hundreds of community members who will gather for at for the American Cancer Society’s all-night event, which aims to raise awareness and money for the fight against cancer. Relay has more than 400 registered participants. Organizers hope attendance will reach more than 600 by the time the event begins at 7 p.m. June 17.
Bahcall serves as captain of team Peace, Love and HOPEiness and is one of the event’s six student co-chairs who plan it and oversee its subcommittees.
“I’ve had family members who have had cancer and Relay is my way of trying to find a cure and show my support,” said Bahcall, who participated in her first Relay for Life as a sophomore.
Each participant is asked to raise at least $100 for the event. Those younger than age 18 who raise less than $100 will be asked to leave at 11 p.m.
Bahcall promotes her fundraising effort by delivering letters to her neighbors and emailing friends and relatives. With a week remaining before the event, she already has generated $870, she said. She hopes to reach $1,000 by next week.
This year’s co-chairs also include Buffalo Grove High School students Kaitlyn Balbi, Nisa Khan and Yasmeen Khan and Stevenson High School students Leah Gruen and John Park.
While the majority of Buffalo Grove’s Relay teams are composed of students, community members of all ages are invited to participate. Registered adult teams include high school faculty members, and a village of Buffalo Grove team made up of staff members and elected officials.
“The community really does back up the event, which is great,” said Danelle Laumeyer, a representative of the American Cancer Society’s Lake County office.
Event highlights include an opening ceremony at 7 p.m., which begins with cancer survivors walking the first lap. Those who have battled cancer will be honored during a 10 p.m. luminaria ceremony. Entertainment throughout the night will include performances by high school bands, karaoke, a movie, volleyball and a midnight dance party. Relay will conclude at 7 a.m. Saturday.
While participants are encouraged to stay for the full event, all-nighters are not required.
New teams still are being encouraged to register.
“The more we can get, the better,” Laumeyer said.
Last year’s event generated $90,000, she said. This year, they hope to raise $96,000.
For more information, to make a donation or to form a Relay for Life team or join an existing one, visit www.relayforlifebuffalogrove.com.