Relay for Life looks to start off on right foot

By on February 13, 2008

Nick Robbins and Christina Owczarek are determined to bring a new tradition to the Quinnipiac community.

Relay For Life is an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Each year Relay For Life events are held in communities all over the world helping to raise money for cancer research as well as to honor those who suffer from the disease. This year for the first time as co-chairs of the event, Robbins and Owczarek are helping to bring the Relay tradition to Quinnipiac.

“More importantly than the money is just coming together as a campus,” junior public relations major Owczarek said.

The hope is that Relay For Life will not only help to raise money for the American Cancer Society, but that it will also bring a sense of community to Quinnipiac; a common ground that all students will be able to unite together on and hopefully spark them to carry on the tradition.

“I think the one thing that Quinnipiac has the potential for is being unbelievably close knit,” senior health science major NickRobbins said.

The Relay For Life Kick Off is Sunday, February 17 from 1 to 2:30 pm in Alumni Hall.

The event itself will be held in the Rec. Center on the night of April 5 into April 6 starting at sundown.

The theme for Quinnipiacs’ Relay For Life will be “Passport to Hope- Relay Around the World”, hopefully symbolizing the idea that cancer knows no borders, recognizes no language barriers, and effects us all.

“We want to incorporate the essence that cancer is a global issue,” Owczarek said. “Everyone is affected by it so by giving a passport to hope it is giving people the chance to change the disease and hopefully someday in the future find a cure.”

Robbins and Owczarek are hoping to get at least 800 students involved in the event this year. Although it is a lofty goal, they are looking to contend with Yale University which held the record for the biggest first year Relay For Life University in 2005.

“Our ultimate goal is to make this [Relay For Life] continue on year after year, far beyond after Nick and I leave,” Owczarek said.

Both Robbins and Owczarek firmly believe in the causes that Relay For Life promotes.

Having both been personally affected by the illness, the co-chairs are looking to show Quinnipiac that cancer is something almost everyone faces.

“Relay For Life is bringing together the campus. All the clubs and organizations coming together under one cause,” Owczarek said.

Robbins, who started the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk a few years ago, is certain that because of how wide spread the affects of cancer are, it will be hard not to see a big turn out at the Kick Off in February and the actual Relay Event in April.

“The thought behind this is that cancer is not something we deal with just in the United States. It is in every single town in every city across the entire world,” said Robbins.

The co-chairs and the committee are looking forward to helping change the dynamics of the campus through Relay For Life. Regardless of experience with the disease, students are encouraged to start Relay teams and get involved.


About Elyse Kusse