LT team Zumbas for Relay
About 50 people move to the music during the zumba-thon fund-raiser Friday for Lyons Township's Relay for Life team The Squad at the Pleasantdale Park District. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
If You Go
WHAT: Relay for Life
WHERE: Lyons Township South Campus, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road, Western Springs
WHEN: 6 p.m. June 9 to 5:30 a.m. June 10
WHY: To raise money for the American Cancer Society
DONATE: At main.acsevents.org
Updated: August 6, 2012 2:17AM
About 50 people worked up a sweat for the cause Friday as they participated in a Zumbathon to raise money for this weekend’s Relay for Life at Lyons Township High School.
“It was a big success and it was a lot of fun,” said Pleasantdale Park District fitness instructor Martha Strawbridge, who led the two-hour event.
Strawbridge volunteered to teach the class for her son Peter’s Relay for Life team. An LT sophomore, Peter is a member of The Squad Relay for Life team, which shook, shimmied and wiggled its way to nearly $1,000, bringing the team total to nearly $2,000.
The Squad is one of 57 teams that will walk the track at LT South Campus from 6 p.m. Saturday until 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. It’s the 10th annual LT Relay for Life, an event started in 2003 by LT Assistant Principal Kris Costopoulos.
A two-time cancer survivor herself, Costopoulos set a goal to raise $1 million during her tenure as leader of the Relay for Life.
“Our goal was to hit $1 million over the 10 years,” she said. “I don’t think we’re going to get there. But they will next year.”
And while she won’t lead the charge, Costopoulos said she will be part of the event.
“I will help them in any way they need help,” said Costopoulos, who will hand over the reins to fellow cancer survivor and LT faculty member Brittany Walk-Sidoti.
The first Relay for Life in 2003 raised $35,000. That amount, and the number of participants, has grown every year since. Costopoulos said students have come up with creative ways to raise money to fight cancer. They’ve held bake sales, car washes, garage sales and gone door-to-door asking for donations.
This year’s event will include a silent auction, which Costopoulos said will include an autographed Blackhawks jersey, gift certificates from local merchants, and reserved parking for graduation 2013, among other things.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. June 9 with a Survivor’s Walk around the track at South Campus. Teams will continue to walk around the track throughout the night. They’ll also take part in bags tournaments, listen to live music by some student bands, and maybe even jump in the bouncy house.
“It tends to be a community event,” said Costopoulos, who said all are encouraged to come out for the festivities.
“It’s so great to see young kids getting so active and wanting to raise money and awareness,” Costopoulos said. “It gives you hope.”