Relay for Life behind in fundraising

By Amanda Ayers

News Editor

The 2012 Relay for Life event will be held in Gerhard Fieldhouse from 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28 to 3 a.m. Sunday, April 29 to support the American Cancer Society and celebrate those who have battled cancer.

Despite ardent efforts, including a Lewisburg Freez night in which a portion of all proceeds were donated to Relay’s efforts, fundraising is behind what it was at this point prior to the event last year. But members on the planning committee are confident that with the large jump in donations in the past couple of weeks, fundraising will surpass levels in years past. Last year, University students ultimately raised $103,850 in the fight against cancer. As of Wednesday, there was only $50,115 raised.

“At this point last year I believe we were a few thousand dollars ahead, but unfortunately we think it might be due to removal of philanthropy dollars and mandatory hours for community service,” Elena Thomopoulos ’14 said. “However, we have no doubt there will be a strong presence of Greek Life at the event.”

“The Freez night was extremely successful for both fundraising and advertising purposes. We made over $400 selling T-shirts and will be receiving a portion of the Freez proceeds from that night,” Sinzer said. “It was wonderful to see the campus come out and support the event.”

As of Wednesday, 856  members were signed up on 79 teams.

“We are expecting a very good turn out. We changed the time from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. to accommodate more individual schedules with finals coming around and we have received lots of positive feedback,” said Emily Sinzer ’14, one of this year’s Relay co-chairs.

The Relay began on campus in 2006 and is planned by the University’s Relay for Life Committee, chaired this year by Sinzer and Eliann Shadmi ’14. They have been involved in every facet of planning the event with the help of Amanda Alexander, a representative from the American Cancer Society, who provides them with information about ACS and helps with other official matters like counting money and making sure that ACS guidelines are followed.

The University has both a Colleges Against Cancer club and a Relay For Life committee. The club works on several cancer awareness activities all year long, while the Relay committee focuses on planning the Relay event. Both of these groups partner with the American Cancer Society.

“Both the co-chairs and the committee have all been personally affected by cancer and have found this event as a wonderful way to fight back against a disease that takes too many lives,” Sinzer said. 

“The students plan all the details of the event, from lining up entertainment acts to acquiring food donations to recruiting teams, and they do a great job,” Alexander said. “It is really a great event and we have lots of students involved who are passionate about the cause.”

Teams are made up of various campus groups ranging from Greek organizations, to sports teams to first-year halls. Much of the registration and fundraising has occurred online on the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life website. On the website, each team is able to manage its members, set a fundraising goal and make a statement about why its members chose to relay.

Delta Gamma members of the Class of 2014, for example, wrote that “At the event, our sisters will camp out overnight and take turns walking around the track to raise money and awareness to help the American Cancer Society create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Saving lives from cancer starts one team, one participant and one dollar at a time. Our team is doing its part to make sure that cancer never steals another year of anyone’s life.”

The website also enables participants to see the top fundraising teams and individual participants. As of Wednesday, Kappa Kappa Gamma Seniors was the top fundraising team and Kate Bloom ’12 and Emily Partridge ’14 are the top two fundraising individuals.

Many campus groups will make an appearance on Saturday night, even putting on performances for participants. The Bison Chips, Bison Girls Dance Team, The Off Beats, Truck Bed Band, Two Past Midnight, Beyond Unison, We Brake for Nobody and Doug Bogan plan to provide entertainment into the wee morning hours. In addition to performances, there will be moon bounces, a mechanical shark, Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza, Rita’s Water Ice and Dunkin’ Donuts.

More information can be found on the American Cancer Society’s official webpage.

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