Students line up to buy food. Image: Laura Lu

Bubble tea, macarons, cheesecakes and Cinnabons galore! Any treat you may be thinking of right now was probably sold at MGCI’s Relay for Life Unhealthy Food Sale. On 18 April 2019, seventeen teams sold an assortment of food in the Galleria to help raise money for cancer research. What’s better than buying sweet treats for a good cause?

With around 110 000 participants nationwide, Relay for Life is an annual fundraising event that encourages teams of peers, family and friends to celebrate cancer survivors and fight for those who have cancer. Participants create teams and fundraise  prior to the Relay event. At MGCI, Relay will take place on 3 May 2019, and will be a fair-like event where at least one person from each team will be walking or running at all times to represent the ongoing battle against cancer. As for the other team members, there are many forms of entertainment and fun activities available throughout the day, such as sports, games, and face painting.

MGCI’s Relay for Life initiative was organized this year by Laura Lu and Wendi Zhang, marking the first year in the past five years that MGCI has participated in Relay for Life. Upon asking the Relay for Life executive team why they brought Relay to the school, they said, “We wanted to support cancer research in a collective way. We’re all affected by cancer in one way or another. We also thought that it would help bring together different peer groups in our school.” Traditionally, the Unhealthy Food sales have been for various club startups at MGCI, but this time the sale was exclusively for the Relay for Life teams.

The teams of eight to ten were originally formed all the way back at the beginning of March. Once the teams and their members were settled, they were given the objective to fundraise a minimum of $50 per member. As fundraising money is never an easy task, MGCI’s Relay for Life decided to give everyone a helping hand by setting up the Unhealthy Food Sale and also giving each team a bag of daffodils pins to hand out if they wanted to collect donations in public. The bright yellow pins are commonly worn by cancer supporters to symbolize strength, courage, and life.

Teams worked hard to advertise their items, putting up posters and even setting up Instagram pages. Image: Laura Lu

The food sale was very successful. Each team raised about eighty to one hundred and fifty dollars. Many thought that the Unhealthy Food Sale was not only a great way of raising money but also a very effective way of increasing student awareness and engagement in the cause. Waleed Khalid, an executive member of MGCI Relay for Life, said, “[The food sale] was different from regular Unhealthy Food Sales hosted by SAC (Student Athletic Council) as it was all for fundraising purposes. The sheer difference was visible; today everyone was much more engaged and passionate about what they were doing.” For some people, it was also a new and exciting experience. Sophia Tran, a member of the Relay team named Conquer Cancer, said, “It was our first time being on the other side of the Unhealthy Food Sale and we all had a great time. It was incredibly easy to sell all our food items since a lot of students and teachers visited our table.” One team, Poetry in Motion, even created an Instagram page  to promote the event.

Conquer Cancer sold cheesecakes to raise money. Image: Laura Lu

MGCI’s Relay for Life teams worked exceptionally hard and their teamwork was evident as they showed their support for cancer research fundraising. The teams still have a long way to go until they reach their goal of fifty dollars per person, but the event definitely gave everyone a boost, not only financially but morally as well. Although it is unclear how much more fundraising everyone has to do, one thing is for sure: passion and a few sweet treats are definitely the way to go if you ever need to fundraise for an event!