Terri Batchelder lead’s KAF Relay for Life team

by Paulomi Rao | 4/18/16 5:35am

Terri Batchelder is leading a Relay for Life team, inspired by her mother.
by Tiffany Zhai / Tiffany Zhai/The Dartmouth Senior Staff

Led by campus employee Terri Batchelder, the King Arthur Flour company will participate in its first Relay for Life this June in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The event, organized through the American Cancer Society, will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 4.

As a daughter of a three-time cancer survivor, Batchelder will be taking part in her second Relay for Life. Batchelder originally learned about the event in the early 2000s and has been involved with the organization ever since.

“It really is one of the amazing things the American Cancer Society does with research and outreach programs for people with cancer and families for people who are going through cancer,” Batchelder said.

According to the American Cancer Society website, more than 4 million people each year in over 20 countries raise funds and awareness to save lives affected by cancer through Relay for Life. The event, which is primarily an overnight team fundraising walk, also includes a survivors lap and luminiaria lighting ceremony, followed by a fight back ceremony.

Originally started in 1985, the movement has raised nearly $5 billion for the American Cancer Society.

Currently, 17 teams and 99 participants have raised $9,536 for the Relay for Life of Greater Lebanon. The King Arthur Flour team has raised $750.

“My hope is to have as many King Arthur Flour employees involved as possible in addition to other people joining the team,” Batchelder said. “I encourage people to be involved in any small way possible whether directly walking or even contributing through a small donation.”

Batchelder’s overall goal is to raise $1,000 in hopes of helping the American Cancer Society move one step closer to finding a cure.

“Watching my mother, who is my hero, go through cancer twice was very challenging and if I can do my part in trying to help another child not have to watch their parent go through that twice, then that’s all I want,” Batchelder said. “Then I’m a happy girl.”

According to company policy, each King Arthur Flour employee is paid for 40 hours of volunteer work per year, that can be used to participate in a wide range of activities at the employee’s discretion.

In the past, King Arthur Flour has been very involved with giving back to the local community along with other volunteer events, including their “baked for good” truck, monthly donations to food banks, stocking cans and participating in walks for various causes, Batchelder said.

This year, she is planning to use her volunteer hours to help out at her daughter’s high school graduation.

Born and raised in Hanover, Batchelder believes being a part of the King Arthur Flour team at Baker-Berry Library is something “especially personal.” With a daughter heading to college next year, Batcheleder talked about how incredible it is to be around caring college students.

Steffi Colao ’19 has been involved with Relay for Life for the last five years and sees the King Arthur Flour team as a wonderful opportunity to spread awareness. Colao, who originally got involved because her uncle and one of her friend’s grandfathers had passed away from cancer, said she hoped to honor their memories in participating.

“I think the exposure of the event on campus is important, regardless of the reasons it may be spreading, because it really helps people,” Colao said. “The all-night aspect with a strong emphasis on community makes the event unique, particularly with its balance between fun, inspirational, more serious and respectful events like the luminaria lap.”

Batchelder said that, having graduated from Hanover High School, she loves being part of the Relay for Life team because it allows her to interact with Dartmouth students in a very positive way.

Similar Relay for Life events have happened across the country on other college campuses. Currently, around 300,000 college students from more than 500 campuses host a collegiate Relay For Life event.

University of South Carolina freshman Anna Johnson helped organized a team this past month in Columbia, South Carolina.

“It’s great having college kids so involved.” she said. “Their willingness to help so many families have more birthdays with their loved ones affected by this disease, is incredible.”