On April 5th around 6pm, hundreds of kids began to fill up the student rec center at the top of campus carrying boxes of baked goods, decorations and balloons. Why you might ask? Relay For Life. Relay For Life is a community fundraising event that raises money for the American Cancer Society whose goal is to put an end to cancer. Relay happens all over the country in schools and communities. Bloomsburg University held their Relay this past weekend from April 5th at 7pm to April 6th at 7am. Twelve hours of continuous walking, fundraising and fighting for a cure.
Relay For Life banner at Bloomsburg University
Relay For Life is a great event to be a part of. Anyone can create a team, but it is especially popular for organizations like Greek life and athletic teams. Once you have your team, you must fundraise! Members of the team fundraise individually leading up to the event, and then at the event, each team has a table or booth set up with different fun games, snacks and prizes to raise money for cancer awareness. The theme of Bloomsburg’s event was Be A Lifesaver, so there was candy and sweets all over the place. Some organizations were extremely creative with their fundraisers. DASL (Developing Ambitious Student Leaders) had a booth where they sold twine and beads, but you could only collect a bead every time you completed a lap. This is an excellent incentive to keep people walking and a way to have something physical that shows your accomplishment. The Board of Governors had a virgin drink bar where they were selling virgin Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris. The Psychology Association had a whole booth that was cotton candy themed, complete with blue and pink streamers. They sold cotton candy in a variety of flavors and were very popular throughout the evening. Alpha Psi Omega’s booth was dedicated to Reese’s Pieces, and they had a variety of baked goods and Reese’s Puff cereal for sale. Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) went so far as to sell deep fried Oreos. Aside from all the sugary sweets, a few places had real food. The team from Luzerne residence hall sold meatball subs well into the morning hours. Colleges Against Cancer (the club that organizes our Relay) sold Buffalo Chicken Dip which is always a crowd pleaser. Kappa Phi went for a healthier outlook and had a make-your-own-trail-mix table. However, not everyone sold food. The Honors Program set up a soccer goal that was “jail” and for $1, you could put your friends in jail for three minutes. They had a sheriff who would find your friend and take them to jail and take their mugshot. It got lots of laughs as unsuspected Relayers were put in jail throughout the evening.
The Orientation Workshop Leaders sold candy sushi at last nights Relay. You chose either Airhead Xtremes or Fruit by the Foot for the outside, rice krispies on the inside and you got to choose from a variety of toppings like Twizzlers, M&Ms and Swedish Fish for the inside. I spoke to Sibel Rasim, a junior on the OWLs Relay For Life team. They raised almost a thousand dollars for cancer research. When I asked Rasim about her Relay experience she said, “The atmosphere and all the different food stands from all different parts of the university really made Relay For Life an amazing experience not only for volunteers, but also the cancer survivors. It truly touched me how we all came together to support Relay For Life and become a part of the awareness and stopping cancer.”
I spoke to junior Alex Ruth who is the president of PRSSA and was the team captain for PRSSA’s team, the PRSSA Pop Rocks. Everything they sold was pop-rock themed. They had a game where you had to finish the lyrics to a pop song with pop rocks in your mouth, they sold Kool-Aid in cups with a pop-rock rim, and cake pops, chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered strawberries all dipped in pop rocks. As a team captain, Ruth was responsible for getting the team together and focusing on their plan for how to have a successful fundraiser at Relay. He attended team captain meetings every other Tuesday for months in advance and reported important information to his team. After the theme was chosen and everything was decided, it was his job to raise morale and get his members excited about Relay. It was PRSSA’s first year participating in Relay For Life and Ruth’s first year as team captain. When I asked him what his first Relay experience was like, he said “Getting to see what other teams brought to Relay gave us a better idea of what we need to bring next year. It also helped us figure out some things we need to do differently for next year. Overall, I think we were successful with our first Relay experience.” The PRSSA Pop Rocks raised $948 for the American Cancer Society.
Colleges Against Cancer
Students put a ton of time and effort into this event, especially Colleges Against Cancer who put together the whole thing.They hold fundraisers on campus before the event, hold the biweekly team captain meetings, organize all the teams the night of the event, and come up with creative ideas to keep all 12 hours interesting like a 4am Pancake Bar and a pajama themed lap. They also coordinate all the activities that go on the night of the event like dodgeball, kickball, and live music.
Relay For Life is a wonderful event that gives people hope and honors those who have lost their battle to cancer. It is amazing to see how many people this disease has affected and how many are committed to putting it to a stop. Before the event even started, Bloomsburg University had raised over $37,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Before Relay officially beings, all the cancer survivors in attendance do a Survivor Lap. Watch Bloomsburg’s Survivor Lap here:
By: Jenna Smith
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