Green Street covered in purple for Relay for Life charity festival

Big purple banner. Purple balloons. Purple streamers and crepe paper. Purple ribbons. Purple shirts. Girls twirling in purple hula hoops.

Green Street was covered in purple on April 14 for the kickoff of the annual Relay For Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Colleges Against Cancer, a University student organization, coordinated Paint Green Street Purple, a festival with local bands and games, to educate the campus and community about cancer and Relay For Life.

Colleges Against Cancer had more than 130 teams in the relay, with about 10 people in each team. The goal was for each team member to raise $125 to help meet the group’s combined goal of $115,000. The organization is a national program within the American Cancer Society that has different groups on college campuses across the country

.”My good friend told me he needed more people for his team,” said June Chae, sophomore in LAS. “I’m excited.”

For one of the first times in history, the block of Green Street from Wright Street to Sixth Street were blocked off with police cars and barricades.

“Historically we don’t tend to give up Green Street,” said Sgt. Scott Friedlein of the Champaign Police Department.

According to Pam Hulten, income manager of the Champaign division of the American Cancer Society, no other organization has been able to raise a banner across Green Street.

“We feel honored we can partner with the city and raise awareness of cancer,” Hulten said.

Paint Green Street Purple Chair Nicole Kamath, senior in engineering, said her father died the summer after her sophomore year.

“At the beginning, (getting involved) helped me grieve,” Kamath said. “The more and more involved I got, I met people with their own story. It’s less about you and more about the effect you can have.”