Springfield Relay for Life celebrates those who beat cancer, raises hope for those who live with it


Fundraising relay celebrates second year since return to Springfield.

Bright, cool spring weather on Saturday afternoon welcomed the 2024 Springfield Relay For Life to town – which was held at the west campus track of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.

From noon to 4:00 PM, citizens of Springfield participated in track and field activities to respect those lost to cancer, honor cancer survivors, raise awareness for those still enduring cancer, and to raise money in support of the continuing struggle to eliminate the disease.

In attendance were a number of Springfield community members of all ages who had overcome cancer: they commenced the relay with a lap around the track, cheered on by family and caregivers, as well as by the mass of supportive citizens.

cancer survivor Rena Naudain

Relay For Life is a national fundraising movement organized with the aid of the American Cancer Society. In years past, the Springfield Relay was a large event, beloved by the community — but like so many annual celebrations and festivals, it was abruptly ended by the 2020 Pandemic.

Yet in 2023, a group of students from the SIU School of Medicine revived Springfield’s Relay for Life. Their dedication to the cause caught the attention of Simona White, a member of the ACS.

Relay for Life organizers Kelly & Joey

Relay for Life volunteers counting the money at the end of the event

In that year, they had set a goal of $10,000 for charity; they succeeded in raising over $15,000.

For 2024, they boldly challenged themselves to take it a step further, setting a goal of $20,000.

By the end of the day, the group had raised just over $19,000, but fundraising for Springfield Relay for Life will remain open over the weekend. Although the Relay itself has ended, Springfield residents are welcome to donate via the organizers’ Venmo until the end of the weekend.

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