The Dixon Center will play host to the 2nd annual Relay for Life on March 26 at 3 p.m. to March 27 at 7 a.m. in an effort to cure Cancer. As the second annual event, the campus community is hoping to repeat last years success.
Senior biology major Melissa Gambino attended last year’s event and recalled some of the successes that were achieved.
“They raised over $20,000 and they had around 25 to 30 teams,” Gambino said. “They wanted to branch out to a wider variety of people and have more people go to the event.”
According to the Relay for Life website, the event was started by Tacoma-based colorectal surgeon Dr. Gordy Klatt as inspiration from his love of running.The Relay for Life website also states that Klatt’s first fundraising run for cancer amounted to $27,000 for the cause.
The American Cancer Society website states that cancer affected over 1,500,000 people in 2010 in the United States alone, and over 12,000,000 worldwide in 2007. According to the National Cancer Institute website, the causes of cancer range from using tobacco to UV exposure to working with hazardous chemicals.
These are the reasons for events such as Relay for Life and why it is of great importance to the campus community.
For this year’s Relay for Life event, a few goals have been set as participants look to beat last year’s fundraising totals.
“We’re trying to raise $30,000, so they raised the amount of money we’re trying to raise for relay,” Gambino said. “And we met our goal of 30 teams.”
Senior biology major Cate Schaffer said that teams usually consist of 8 to 15 members and that her team has 11 members.
Whether or not you are a direct participant in this year’s Relay for Life event, there are many ways to help the cause of fighting cancer.
Shaffer said that a lot of participants are looking at family members when it comes to donations. Another way is through a ceremony for cancer patients that passed away and who are still fighting.
“You can buy bags and a lot of the money comes from if a family member buys a bag in honor of someone else, you get $10 toward your team,” Schaffer said. “A couple of my family members bought a bag for my uncle, so all that money comes right to me for my donation for my team.”
Senior psychology major Lauren McCarthy said she is hoping to accomplish the goal of $30,000 with the upcoming event, as well as other goals.
“I’m hoping to accomplish cancer awareness across the campus,” McCarthy said. “Most people know, or if not, are related to someone who has cancer. So it kind of hits home for a lot of people.”
McCarthy relayed the importance that she saw in the cause.
“It’s a really big deal and we really want to help as many people as we can,” McCarthy said.
On Tuesday, March 8, a sale was held at the atrium in Grace Hall to assist in fundraising efforts for cancer and Relay for Life.
“It was called a rummage sale where people bring items they no longer wish to have, and it was a pay-for-what-you-wish sale,” Gambino said. “Any items that were not sold were brought to goodwill.”
Items for sale included electronics, CDs, DVDs, books, jewelry, clothes, handbags, decorative household objects and a variety of toys.
Gambino said that they raised a total of $253.44 in the one-time-only sale, which was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fundraising efforts were not the only recent success for the upcoming Relay for Life event later this month. Numbers of participants have been increasing as the event gets closer.
“The current participant number is 211, with 32 teams,” Gambino said. “The total amount raised is $14,206.32.”
This growth in numbers shows a strong support among the campus community, family and friends in the fight against cancer.
People in the local area who are affected by cancer can get the helpful emotional support they need through groups such as the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia.
The group can also be found on Twitter and Facebook, so that anyone using such social media sites can follow them, get involved and pass their resources onto others.