Key Club’s main event: Hope-a-Thon 2016

Sydney Missigman, Faith in Action Editor

Oct. 29th, a sunny Saturday morning, Xavier’s annual Hope-a-Thon took place. Hosted by XCP’s Key Club, this purple-themed event is a walk around Founders Hall to raise awareness and donations for cancer research. Members of Xavier and Brophy’s Key Club were encouraged to attend, but non-members were also welcome. Many families and children in the Xavier and Brophy community attended this event, as well.

The six dedicated Key Club officers, along with head faculty moderator Alison Mead, have worked on planning this event since the beginning of the school year. Staying late for eighth hour meetings, organizing committees, creating a schedule of events and contacting the necessary sponsors were just a few of the extraordinary acts the team completed to make the 2016 Hope-a-Thon the best possible event.

As XCP and BCP Key Club members came through the gates by Founders Hall and presented their official Hope-a-Thon pin to enter the event, they were invited to sign the name of a loved one who has been affected by cancer on the Honor Banner. This banner was a symbol of the millions of families touched by the vicious disease of cancer. Greeted by the music of band “In the Works,” attendees gathered around the stage to listen.

The main part of this event was for students to walk laps around Founders, each time collecting a bead on their choice of colored string. Deciding which shape, design or color bead to add to their string was a difficult decision for most participants. Besides being a fun addition to the walk, the beads symbolize something deeper. Mrs. Mead shared the experience of her nephew who had cancer. She explained how at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, each time a child underwent chemotherapy they were awarded with a bead to add to their necklace. After hearing the story, incorporating this chilling souvenir was a great way to acknowledge the amazing doctors and nurses who work to kill cancer everyday.  

With snacks and music, the walkers were well-entertained during their visit. Around 11 o’clock, Key Club officers gathered purple balloons to hand out to each attendee. Freshman Key Club members wondered what these balloons were for. However, returning Key Clubbers knew this Hope-a-Thon tradition: the balloon release. After joining in a prayer for the sick, led by Key Club president senior Lindsey Theut, everyone freed their balloons to fill the sky with purple. This symbolic release was a meaningful experience for all, but especially those touched by cancer in any way.

The 2016 Hope-A-Thon was a success according to many. Theut said, “The Hope-a-Thon is a great event that helps raise money for cancer research. The community comes together through this fun walk!”