Record-Breaking Year for D300 Relay for Life
The district-wide event was held at Jacobs High School in Algonquin.
Despite the cold, wet weather that pushed the 2012 D300 Relay For Life indoors, attendance and fundraising were hotter than ever at the 4th annual district-wide event on April 27 at Jacobs High School.
The number of registered participants was up by 25% over 2011, from 704 to 876, and the amount of funds raised for the American Cancer Society nearly doubled, from $75,400 last year to well over $135,000.
D300 Associate Superintendent Sarah Kedroski attributed this year’s record-breaking success partly to “the overwhelming support from building principals.”
Thanks to a concerted effort, this was the first year that all D300 schools were represented at the D300 Relay For Life, which brought a true sense of family and community spirit to this all-ages tradition.
That spirit was also evident in the strong, personal motivation that drove each person to make it the district’s best-ever Relay For Life, according to Jay Bastian, the American Cancer Society (ACS) staff partner for the D300 Relay. The ACS had set $77,000 as the fundraising goal for this year’s D300 event, which the D300 community blew out of the water.
“This year, so many participants rallied around survivors or someone who lost a loved one,” Bastian said. “They saw it as not only a fun event and a lot of hard work – which it undoubtedly is – but as a chance to make a difference and do their part to support others.”
In terms of fundraising, the top teams and top individuals are still being finalized. Tentatively, the ACS is reporting the top five teams as: Lakewood School, Carpentersville Middle School, M&M (a student team), Meadowdale Elementary School, and the deLacey Family Education Center. Bastian said he was especially impressed by the Lakewood students, who – together with their families and school staff – raised over $11,000.
“By far my favorite memory was about 4 a.m. when I saw a handful of 6th graders from Lakewood still going strong, walking with one of their teachers,” he said.
As for the top individuals, Bastian said that Jon Herath, Natalie Rothbauer and MacKenzie Flamm are in a dead-heat for first place. The ACS will post the final results to the event website, www.relayforlife.org/d300il, by the end of this week. Also by the end of the week, D300 administration will post a photo slideshow of this year's event onto the Relay page of the D300 website.
“It is too early to judge the overall winner, but they should each bring in around $3,000 to $3,100,” he said. “Rumor has it some are still fundraising to get that top spot.” Jennie Ratner and Brooke Hermann will likely round out the top five.
In addition to the students and faculty who led the planning committee, more than 90 district administrators, staff, and community members volunteered to operate the overnight event, voluntarily handling tasks such as accounting, security, registration, publicity, photography, set-up / take-down, and general oversight. Kedroski noted that Jacobs High School English Teacher Char Karmis deserves special thanks for her exceptional efforts to help coordinate the 2012 Relay, and Bastian pointed to a particular group of high school seniors who went above and beyond.
“Maddie Hill, Natalie Rothbauer, MacKenzie Flamm, and Ally Morton spent a large portion of the night running around doing errands and making sure the event was running smoothly,” Bastian said. “They didn't get to participate as much as they wanted, but they did their part with the rest of the committee to try and make it the best experience possible.”
D300 Relay For Life rotates each year among the district’s three high schools. Hampshire High School will host the 2013 event, and the date will be decided in the near future.
Source: District 300 press release