The student-organized Hope College chapter of Colleges Against Cancer will sponsor its 16th annual Relay For Life event on Friday, Nov. 2, from 6 p.m. until midnight in the Pine Grove.

The Relay For Life is part of a national fund-raising initiative for the American Cancer Society.  The non-competitive event invites members of the Hope College community to form teams and then walk around the Pine Grove in the central campus for the next six hours to raise funds for research, education, advocacy and service in the fight against cancer.

The relay will begin with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m., with cancer survivors and caregivers invited to participate in the opening lap at 6:30 p.m.  The event will also include a 9 p.m. luminaria ceremony honoring those who have lost their lives to cancer and those who are still battling cancer, and an 11 p.m. closing ceremony.

Hundreds of students participate in the college’s Relay For Life annually, with more than 500 signed up this year.  The 23 teams that have registered include a variety of student organizations, as well as groups representing academic programs and others who have banded together specifically on behalf of the event.

In 2016, the American Cancer Society Relay For Life Nationwide Awards and Recognition Program honored Hope’s 2015 Relay For Life with two awards.  The college’s program received a Nationwide Division Per Capita Award, and Hope’s Dianne Portfleet Alcor Chapter of the Mortar Board national honor society won the Nationwide Team of Excellence Award.  Hope and the chapter received the same awards in 2015 for 2014, with the 2014 Hope Relay For Life also receiving the 2015 Lakeshore Division Heart of Relay Award for Survivor Engagement.

The Pine Grove is located at 277 College Ave., directly behind Graves Hall, which faces College Avenue between 10th and 12th streets.

Participants walking at Relay for Life