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Relay For Life

HU Students Fight Cancer With Walking

Staci Childs experienced her grandparents succumb to cancer; a painful episode she doesn't want anyone else to experience.

So, for the last two years she's worked with the Hampton University Relay For Life team. Last year, the HU junior was the event's co-chair. This year she is the chairperson. The national event, April 11, is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

"That's the reason I got interested in this," said Childs, referring to her grandparents' death. Her grandmother died in 1994 of lung cancer and her grandfather in 2002 of prostate cancer.

"I'm trying to help other people, so their parents and grandparents won't have to suffer through cancer," Childs said. "The more money we raise, the more people who don't have to see their parents and grandparents go through that."

Last year the HU teams raised nearly $10,000. This year the target is $20,000. Students and faculty are all encouraged to form teams and participate.

Here's how it works: There's a $10 fee to register. Persons can form a team and then do fundraisers with that team to raise money, which is donated to relay for life. Beginning at 7 p.m. and until 7 a.m., someone from each registered team must walk the HU Armstrong Stadium track. Team members can alternate striding, but at all times a member from each team must be represented on the track. Security will be present throughout the night.

The walk, not the pace, is symbolic, Childs said.

"That symbolizes a person who has walked through their life with cancer," she said. "It's not a race."

Still, many hope for a cure for the disease hurriedly.

Cancer, defined as a malignant and invasive growth or tumor, is the second most common cause of death in the United States, surpassed only by heart disease. One of every four deaths in the country is the result of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

As HU participants walk the track next month, other relay for life teams will be participating throughout the world for the cause of cancer. In 1986, the first relay hosted 19 teams and raised $33,000, according to the American Cancer Society website.

Today, more than 3 million Americans participate in the event nationwide, and this year more than 18 countries are on the bandwagon, the site said.

For Childs, however, the event has specific meaning at her local home by the sea. Already, about 150 HU students have signed up to participate.

"The goal is to get more people aware," she said. "I would like to reach our monetary goal, but as long as people are hyped up about a good cause on campus, that's the main thing."

For more information about the HU Relay For Life event visit http://www.hurelay.org.

Miss HU Show for Community, Good Causes

The Miss. Hampton University Fashion Show coordinator, Teddy Reeves, is hopeful this year's event will be a moneymaker - so he can give it all back.

Miss HU Javicia Walker
Photo courtesy Benson Blake Photography

Proceeds from the event will go to Project Dream Big Inc., The Lupus Foundation, Children's Miracle Network, and toward helping the current Miss Hampton University, Javicia Leslie Walker, progress to the Miss Virginia Pageant.

"We're looking forward to turnout from the community and the (high) schools coming," said Reeves, an HU senior. "It's a way for us to reach out and show that we do give back here at Hampton."

The event is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., April 3 in the HU Convocation Center. Tickets are $5, $10 and $20 and must be purchased at ticketmaster.com. The show's theme is "An International Affair," and is part of the HU Spring Fest Week. Fashions and styles from New York, Paris, Tokyo and Africa will be featured. A pre-show is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. in the HU student center.

Thirty-eight HU models are participating, along with student and local clothing designers, including Norfolk State University students. "Black College Today" magazine is sponsoring the show, and the HU Student Leadership Program organized the event.

High-schoolers from Hampton and Norfolk, as well as local church communities are invited, Reeves said.

For more information about the fashion show contact the HU student activities office at 757.727.5691 or hustudentactivities@hamptonu.edu.