397 Participants Already Registered
Relay for Life spreads awareness and raises much needed funds for research to save lives from cancer. Every year, more than four million people in over 20 countries participate in Relay for Life.
The University, being a part of this global phenomenon, shows its compassion through the students who participate in the event. This year, the students who are bringing Relay for Life to campus are hoping for about 500 participants. There are already 397 participants that have registered with the event two months away, taking place on April 25.
Relay for Life will be held in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC). It is an overnight event of games and music starting Friday afternoon going into Saturday morning. Some of the games include dodgeball, Wii games, relay races and scavenger hunts. There will possibly be live music to keep everyone entertained. Along with games, they have ceremonies to remember the true meaning behind the event, which is to raise money to find a cure for cancer. There will be a Luminaria ceremony, which is held to remember those who have lost their battles with cancer and a Fight Back ceremony to rally everyone together to become empowered and inspired to find a cure.
Jenna Tshudy, junior history and secondary education major and Colleges Against Cancer co-chair, said that they hope to raise $60,000 this year. All of the money that Colleges Against Cancer raises goes to the American Cancer Society. It is used for cancer treatment and research. They provide free information, resources and services for cancer patients and their families. Proceeds also go to Look Good… Feel Better, which is an organization that provides women with wigs and teaches them how to apply makeup after they lose hair from chemotherapy.
They also provide college scholarships for students who are cancer patients or survivors so that they can pursue higher education.
Colleges Against Cancer at the University consists of 30 students who work together to plan Relay for Life. Their meetings are held every Wednesday afternoon. The president is Kaitlyn LaRose and the other co-chair is Leah Torres.
The three of them work together to make sure everything runs smoothly and the event can be a bigger success each year. The faculty advisor is Sharon Smith, Employee Benefits Administrator at the University. The group also has an American Cancer Society staff partner, Bradley Bennett, who helps to oversee the event and is the main connection between the group and the American Cancer Society.
“We have such a caring and dedicated group of people working with us to plan the event, which really makes all of our work enjoyable,” Tshudy said.
The University has been an active participant in Relay for Life for six years. Tshudy said, “I love being involved in Relay because I am very passionate about our cause and I enjoy inspiring and encouraging others to support the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. During our fundraisers and events, we always get people who come up to us and share stories of someone they know who was diagnosed or thanking us for all of the work that we do. Unfortunately, almost everyone in today’s society is affected by cancer in some way. It is very empowering and heartwarming to come together and fight for such an important cause.”
Out of the 75 teams they hope to have participating there are currently 52 signed up. Anyone can sign up at RelayForLife.org. If you raise at least $100 for the cause you receive a free t-shirt from the American Cancer Society.