More than 40 nursing students from Southern Arkansas University recently participated in the Columbia County Relay for Life and helped raise money for cancer research.
“For many of the students who participated this year, Relay had special meaning as we walked in memory of Dr. Hugh Johnson, a beloved microbiology professor, who died very suddenly last fall of pancreatic cancer,” said Kathy Juniker, president of the SAU Student Nursing Association.
According to Juniker, Johnson taught microbiology during many summer sessions so nursing students could fit it into their two-year program and graduate on time.
“This was to have been his last year of teaching before he retired to spend time with his grandchildren,” said Juniker. “We were all deeply touched by his loss.”
The event was held at the Magnolia High School Panther Stadium. Juniker served as team captain.
The Student Nursing Association team raised more than $1,900 and took first place for the most money raised by a small group or business. The group raised money in a variety of ways.
Some students collected donations and sold luminaries in memory of loved ones lost to cancer. A special T-shirt was designed by an SAU art student and sold on campus. The night of the relay, the team sold bottled water and snacks that were donated by team members.
During the relay, at least one team member was on the track at all times from 6 p.m. until it ended at 2 a.m.
“Those who attended brought family members and friends and a great time was had by all,” said Junike