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Relay For Life at Shepherd University

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to Celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, Remember loved ones lost, and Fight Back against the disease.

Each year, more than 4 million people in over 20 countries take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.

Relay For Life of Jefferson County presented by Shepherd University is a fun-filled, overnight event that empowers everyone to help fight cancer by raising money and awareness to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission. Teams of students, faculty, staff and community members camp out on Shepherd’s campus and take turns walking/running to raise money for the ACS. Since 2003, Shepherd University has raised over $790,000 in support of the American Cancer Society. Relay For Life symbolizes the hope that people lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face the disease have support, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

2024 Jefferson County Relay Presented by Shepherd University

On April 12, 2024, Jefferson County and Shepherd University hosted a memorable Relay For Life walk. Check out more information from the event here.

What is Relay For Life?
Relay For Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS). The funds that we raise for ACS directly support breakthrough research, 24/7 support for cancer patients, access to lifesaving screenings, and more.   

What is the timeline? Why join Relay now if the event is not until next year?
Relay may only be one night, but our support and efforts in fundraising go all year long.  The Relay For Life is the grand celebration of efforts made all year to fundraising for the American Cancer Society. The Event Leadership Team and Team Captains will fundraise and host fundraisers all year long that all go towards the Jefferson County Relay For Life goal of raising a total of $100,000 altogether.

Are you a Shepherd University student or a general community member who is interested in attending the 2024 event? You can email Melanie Ford,, or Aly Nazarok, for more information!

What does the event look like?
The event will have a circular path. When you come to the event, you are encouraged to walk laps and get beads for each lap you walk. There will also be games and tents set up all around. You and your team can will participate in the different activities happening throughout the event.  One person on your team is asked to be on the track at all times, hence the name “Relay”.  

How are Cancer Survivors Honored? 
There will be a Torch Run at the beginning of the event in which cancer survivors pass a torch to one another to get the event started. This is very symbolic and Shepherd has had up to 800 people lining German Street in Shepherdstown for this event kick-off. After dark, a Luminaria will occur. You can purchase a Luminaria (a small bag with a candle) and dedicate this to someone who has passed of cancer, is currently fighting cancer, or who has survived cancer. The bags are typically decorated with marker.  Survivors can sign up here. 

How can I get involved? 

*Ordered by level of commitment, beginning at the highest) 

Student Leader (Event Leadership Team): You can apply for one of 12 positions as a Relay For Life Student Leader! There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to plan, organize, and fundraise for Relay for Life. This is a great position for you if you love to be involved & are looking for a leadership position.

 Apply for a Leadership Position  

Member of the Relay For Life Organization (Student Event Staff):  If you are a student who loves to help out at events, this is the organization for you! The student leadership group will need assistance at the different fundraisers they are planning. If you are a member of the student event staff for Relay, you get to be the people that are on the ground making events run smoothly! 

Join our Event Staff

Team Captain– As a Team Captain you’ll be on the front lines of fighting cancer. You can create your own team! As a team, you will set a fundraising goal and achieve your goal together. Many teams go to Relay together, may order their own shirts, and follow the lead of their team captain.  Download the mobile FUNdraising app to get started right away!

Sign Up Your RFL Team

Download the Mobile App

Be on a Team (Team Participant): Teams are created at Relay For Life to promote working together and fundraising together! You can be a part of a team striving meet the team’s fundraising goals, honor someone you may all know, and have fun working collaboratively to raise funds or plan your team’s theme for our April Relay.

Sign in and Join a Team 

Show Up: Anyone and everyone is welcome to simply come on the day of the event and enjoy the activities! 

Relay for Life Page