The student organization Colleges Against Cancer held their Relay for Life event on Saturday, April 14 on campus in the rec center. This organization pairs up with the American Cancer Society every year to bring Relay for Life to campus, which is one of their popular fundraising events. “Relay for Life is an event for a 12-hour time period to raise awareness and money to help individuals fight cancer,” said the the OWLs Activities Coordinator, Autumn McGrath. The event started at 5pm and went all the way until 5am.
Organizations and clubs came together to set up tables to fundraise around the gym. All the proceeds went towards the American Cancer Society and their fight against cancer. The theme this year was Disney, so each club had to decorate their table and relate it someway to the theme. Some Disney movies that were used were Lilo and Stitch, Hercules, Up, The Little Mermaid and Frozen.
The event started off with an opening ceremony where cancer survivors were honored as they took a lap around the gym. After this everyone participated in walking around the track. Also as you walked around, participates were donating towards the fundraisers throughout the gym. Later in the night, there was a Luminary Ceremony. Each light (glow stick) represented a life affected by cancer. Finally, it ended with a closing ceremony where the fundraising that everyone was a part of was celebrated.
When asked “why it is important to bring relay for life to our university”, Autumn McGrath OWLs Activities Coordinator said “It’s important to build a sense of community and relay together as a university for a good cause. It brings the whole university and the Bloomsburg area together to raise money for a disease that effects just about everyone. Chances are everyone knows someone who is directly or indirectly effected from close family to friends.”
Thomas Herman who is the Alpha Phi Omega Vice President of Service, was asked the same question and said “It’s important to bring relay to campus to remind students they are not alone if they have lost someone close to them to cancer. It builds a support system across campus”. Program Boards president Dave Zienkiewicz responded with “Relay is more than just a fundraiser. Participating in and hosting a Relay for Life program shows that the student body truly does care about and promote philanthropic ideals. After losing my mother to cancer at the beginning of last semester, I was so humbled to see the dedication of our campus community.”
Not only was there food to purchase where the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society, you could also get your hair cut and donate it. “We had one of our brothers along with her friends cutting hair to donate for wigs. We had 31 people cut their hair, 15 girls and 16 guys donated $5 to cut their hair”, Thomas Herman says.
The top three teams that raised the most were Learning Communities who raised $1,913, Program Board who raised $1,665 and Phi Sigma Pi who raised $1,456. Our university raised a total of $36,504.75 for the American Cancer Society. Thank you to all the organizations that helped make this day a huge success. The money that we raised will help the ongoing fight to create a cancer free world.