By Rachel Morse, Staff Writer
Students and organizations will unite again in an annual fundraiser to garner donations and spread awareness for people who battled or continue struggling with cancer.
Relay For Life, an overnight event in which all proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society, is brought to the university each year to inspire the campus community in the fight against cancer, said Becca Koopferstock, publicity committee head for Relay for Life.
The event will be 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. April 13 to 14 on the Quad Lawn.
“It’s a really incredible event to be surrounded by people who have been affected by cancer their whole life,” she said.
Koopferstock, who has seen cancer affect people in her life, said she relays because she knows that the American Cancer Society makes a difference.
“It’s knowing that what I do and getting the word out is really important,” she said.
The Relay committee worked since April 2011 to gather support for this year’s event, for which the theme is superheroes, Koopferstock said.
The theme recognizes all who have fought against cancer, those who still are fighting and the ones who don’t have cancer but honor those who do.
“Even you can be a Relay super hero,” Koopferstock said.
There are 26 teams registered for the event and more than $10,000 has been raised as of presstime, she said. The committee’s goal amount is $45,000.
“We’ve reached our goals the last several years,” Koopferstock said. “I feel like if we work together we can absolutely reach our goal.”
Fundraising is happening differently across campus, she said. Teams and participants are working together to raise money, faculty were involved in a “flocking” event and students are selling different kinds of luminaries to people who wish to honor a “hero” in their life.
The Relay committee also is promoting the fundraiser Change for a Cure, in which promoters ask for just the change in people’s pockets to help make a difference, Koopferstock said.
“Every single penny helps,” she said.
Signups still are open for people who are interested in joining a team, and those who are not still are encouraged to relay, Koopferstock said.
“There’s not going to be a dull moment in the night itself,” she said. “Students need to come and support those who will be out there for 12 hours.”
One way to support is by participating in the different ceremonies throughout the night, such as the Fight Back Ceremony, Koopferstock said.
The ceremony will be at 3 a.m. and is a sort of a call to arms pep rally, said Amanda Lee, mission and advocacy chairwoman.
The purpose is to rally everyone together under the mantra “enough is enough.”
“We’ve lost so much to this disease but we are not going to lose any more,” she said.
Lee said her favorite part of Relay is watching people who aren’t familiar with the event experience it for the first time.
Participating is a life-changing experience, she said.
“A lot of people don’t realize that one in four people will get cancer in their lives,” Lee said. “Watching how our campus responds to that is inspiring to me.”
For more information visit relayforlife.org.