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Quinnipiac’s Relay For Life to hold kickoff event
Quinnipiac’s Relay For Life aspires to raise more money and awareness for the American Cancer Society than last year’s annual fall Relay event, beginning with a kickoff event on March 8.
The event, held in the Carl Hansen Student Center piazza from 7:30-10:30 p.m., will aim to create awareness for Relay For Life and to register students for teams, according to the event’s two co-chairs, juniors Aly Lang and Liz Monroe.
“We’ll have lots of stations with different activities set up so that people can come and go whenever they want,” Lang said. “We’re going to be explaining the specifics of that, and we will have teams registering at kickoff and that team will last until the Relay event in the fall.”
The fall is a long ways away, so Lang and Monroe will be actively engaging teams in a number of activities throughout the spring.
“Throughout the semester, we’re going to engage with the teams and invite them to other smaller events to keep the interest up for the main event on Sept. 9,” Monroe said.
Lang and Monroe were members of the event’s executive board for the 2016 Relay. While Lang served as the event’s entertainment chair, Monroe was the volunteer coordinator.
“We raised around $30,000 (last year),” Lang said. “Obviously as each year comes, we want to raise more money.”
There is another organization on campus that the two co-chairs see as a role model for Quinnipiac’s Relay For Life.
“We aim to be as huge as QTHON is,” Monroe said. “We set our goal for this year to be $35,000.”
QTHON, an annual dance marathon held on campus, raised $115,000 for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in 2016. The organization set a goal of $150,000 for this year. Lang and Monroe, along with their team of advisors and other executive board members, hope to gain a following as big as QTHON’s. They plan to work diligently and reach out to other organizations on campus to gain support and involvement.
“We have an even bigger team this year, and they just work so hard, and we think we’re really going to reach out to every organization on campus and get them involved,” Lang said.
Relay For Life raises money to combat a disease that is present in populations worldwide.
“Honestly, I think everyone knows someone who has cancer. It’s everywhere,” Monroe said.
“My grandmothers on both sides of my family have cancer,” Lang said. “I think that just drives all of my energy that I put into Relay.”
Relay For Life is an international fundraiser for the American Cancer Society [ACS]. ACS’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer, according to their website. All of the money raised at Relay events across the country goes directly to the American Cancer Society.
“They fund research for every type of cancer, so I know my grandmothers are benefitting from ACS,” Lang said, whose paternal grandmother battles ovarian cancer and maternal grandmother battles lung cancer.
ACS also provides support programs for cancer patients, as well as transportation to doctor’s appointments.
“All of the money we raise goes straight to ACS, so it’s just awesome being able to send them so much money,” Lang said with a smile. “From there, you really know it’s getting to the people that are affected by cancer.”
While various Relay events are held in communities across the country, Quinnipiac’s Relay For Life is dependent upon its student base.
“It’s great to empower (students) and help them to see the potential that they have to make a difference in the world,” Monroe said. “We have some special plans in the making to (achieve) a higher fundraising goal and engage with more people at Quinnipiac, so we’re very excited to start implementing them.”
Lang and Monroe were adamant that even the smallest of donations can make a big difference.
“Every dollar we raise is so special to us because we know the impact it has,” Lang said. “Even by coming to the kickoff or coming to the Relay, you are raising money for the greater good and you are raising money to help end cancer.
REPORTING: Ashley Nally-Nagel and Drew Johnson