“Fight back and make a change” are the words many students kept in their minds during Salisbury University’s Relay for Life event Friday.
Relay for Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk in support of the American Cancer Society, which funds cancer research. Thousands of students at Salisbury stayed awake for 12 hours in support of this cause, raising a grand total of $107,151.56.
“Relay for Life is one of the biggest events of the year for SU,” said senior Katie Burke. “It’s a time where we can come together as a school and honor the lives lost and the ones who’ve survived from this horrible disease called cancer.”
The theme this year was relaying around the world and over 100 students organizations chose a variety of countries where they held individual games, fundraisers and food throughout the night to raise money for the cause.
There were many highlights throughout the night, such as the famous Luminaria ceremony, which is a special lap that takes place after dark. This lap is to remember those who have lost their lives to cancer, honor those who have survived and support those who continue to fight. Candles are lit inside of individual bags and are placed alongside the relay track.
“This year I did the Luminaria ceremony to honor my mother who lost her battle with breast cancer this summer,” said junior Ethan Johnson. “It was an emotional time for me, but I was glad to have such a powerful support system behind me.”
Relay for Life began in May 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, ultimately raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nations biggest health concern, cancer. Today, Relay is one of the largest events held a Universities across the globe.
While the chairwoman for Relay SU could not be reached, many students expressed that this was by far the most successful year.
“I would say this year was by far the best for SU,” said senior Brittney Alexander. “We surpassed our goal and we had more organizations turn out. I hope to come back as an alumni and see this event continue to grow bigger and bigger as the years go on.”
Donations can be made at www.relayforlife.org