April 9, 2014

Relay for Life Fundraiser Will Raise Money for Cancer Research

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More than 1,000 students will gather in Barton Hall Friday for Colleges Against Cancer’s annual event, Relay for Life — an all-night event to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Held to commemorate those who have survived their battle with cancer and honor those who have not, Relay for Life will span 12 hours, according to Alyssa Caputo ’15, co-chair of Colleges Against Cancer. Parti­cipants will walk the track in Barton Hall and partake in events to raise money for research.

“The idea of Relay is that it’s a 12 hour event because ‘cancer never sleeps,’” said Olivia Wittels ’14, co-chair of Colleges Against Cancer. “Maybe it might not feel so comfortable to be awake at two or three in the morning, but a cancer patient never gets to decide when they’re going to have a bad night. So we stand in solidarity with them.”

Wittels said one of the organization’s “proudest” accomplishments was getting Greek life more involved in Relay for Life.

“Right now, we have every single sorority on campus signed up, and every single one of them have raised between $1,000 and $10,000. In terms of fraternities, which have historically had low attendance [at the event], more than half of the fraternities are currently signed up,” Wittels said. “Hopefully this will continue to be a tradition because I think it’s a great way to show Greek life in a positive light on Cornell’s campus.”

Colleges Against Cancer fundraised for the event since September, according to Wittels.

“Pretty much all of our efforts and all the fundraising we’ve done throughout this year has gone towards the relay,” she said.

Cornell’s Relay for Life has raised approximately $87,000 as of Wednesday night, according to the American Cancer Society’s website.

Mackenzie Kinard ’16, chair of the publicity committee for CAC said, said the organization’s goal is to raise $120,000.

“As long as we break $100,000, I know that we will be extremely proud. Either way we’ll be proud of ourselves,” Caputo added.

The event will feature different entertainment groups, which will perform throughout the course of the night.

“We have a capella groups performing, comedy troupes, you name it and we probably have it,” Caputo said.

According to Kinard, students and organizations will set up their own stations during the event to help raise more money. A smoothie bar, henna tattoo station and makeshift nail salon are some of the many installations to be expected.

Colleges Against Cancer will hold its final fundraising effort with a bar night Thursday at Loco Cantina, according to Kinard. She said the organization will sell wristbands for the fundraiser, and all proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

“It’s the night before Relay so it’s a kind of a celebration — a way to get excited about what’s coming the next day,” Wittels said.

Wittels also said she encourages students who have not yet signed up to register online or at the start of the event Friday.

“Relay is still so special despite the fact that it happens every year,” she said. “This is the 10th Relay I’ve participated in and it’s just as important and relevant to me now as it was years ago.”