On Friday, March 27, students gathered in Huntington Gym after Whoppi Goldberg’s talk to participate in Relay for Life (RFL), an event run by Colgate’s Colleges Against Cancer (CAC). RFL is a yearly event that the American Cancer Society holds all across the globe, in upwards of 20 countries. This year, students raised over $15,000, though this was still under their $35,000 goal. Donations are still being accepted until August, and standing CAC President first-year Jenny Robinson is hopeful that CAC’s goal will be met.
The event took place over a twelve-hour period, from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 a.m. on Saturday. The “Opening Ceremonies” began at 8 p.m., including a talk with a cancer survivor, who created an atmosphere of hope and stressed the importance for continuing to search for a cure. Luminaries were present around the gym, donning the names of those who fought their own battles against cancer. Many people who go to RFL events have lost someone to cancer or have had cancer affect their lives in one way or another. RFL is meant as a way for people to come together over a common cause aimed at benefiting billions.
Several student groups participated in RFL, helping to create an atmosphere in which people of the Hamilton community could be involved. A cappella groups, including the Resolutions, Colgate 13 and Dischords, performed throughout the night. Volunteers could enjoy musical pieces while walking around Huntington Gym in support of cancer research. Greek organizations also made an important contribution to the event, along with other student groups. Overall, Team Jim received the most donations of any team, leading the way with over $4,000 raised.
“About one in two men and one in three females will develop cancer over the course of their lifetime. That’s staggering. Whether you have personally been affected by cancer or not, it is important to realize the need to fight back. It seems like a daunting task but any small thing you can give, whether it be money or time, will help save one more life,” sophomore Jackson Lucas said.
Lucas is one of the Philanthropy Chairs of Phi Delta Theta, and he, like many other student leaders in the Colgate community, helped organize a supportive team for his fraternity brothers to join. By forming these teams, the student body is able to create an atmosphere that allows for the mourning of those lost and the support of those who have lost someone to cancer. RFL also hopes to give encouragement to those currently struggling with the disease to keep fighting. Thought it was less popular than in year’s past, this year’s RFL event still gave students a place to gather in the mutual desire to fight cancer.
“From what I’ve heard, participation across campus has been better in past years. But overall I think RFL raised quite a bit of money this year, which is great,” Lucas said.
RFL is a way to give money not only to cancer research, but also to those who can’t afford the care they need. By volunteering, students were able to participate in an event that is important to them. Although attendance was not high this year, volunteers and donors worked hard to make the event as successful as it could be.
“[Cancer] is an issue that affects everyone. We all can do our part, big or little, to help find a cure and those who don’t have access to treatment,” Robinson said.
Even though RFL has passed, the fundraising season lasts until August.
“Be on the look out for more events and fundraising opportunities!” Robinson said.
More information can be found at the RFL website by searching for Colgate University.