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April 16, 2024

Relay for Life sets goals for spring fundraiser: Annual event raises funds for American Cancer Society

By ALEXANDRA BALLATO | November 8, 2012

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, the Hopkins chapter of Relay For Life had its annual Kickoff event, marking the official start of its fundraising season for the American Cancer Society.

While largely an informational session, the Kickoff also drew in many new participants.

"Our Kickoff was successful. We nearly doubled the number of participants signed up online and got 7 new teams. It really helped us spread the word about Relay," Co-Chairs Rose Schrott and Joi Moore wrote in an email to The News-Letter. "We are definitely looking to have a bigger presence on campus earlier on in the year."

The large turnout at the Kickoff looks favorably upon Relay's participation goal for this year.

They hope to have 750 participants at the event, which is 50 more than last year.

Relay participants from Hopkins are part of a larger member base of 4 million people from 20 countries around the world, fostering a sense of community both on campus and beyond in their common fight against cancer.

"We like how Relay brings together everyone on campus for one cause, and that's one of the reasons we want everyone to be involved," Schrott and Moore wrote.

Last year, Relay for Life raised $60,000, but this year the bar for fundraising has been set higher, as has their participation goal,

"Our fundraising goal for this year is $65,500. We are going to be doing more fundraisers throughout the year," Schrott and Moore wrote. "Our a cappella fundraiser from last year, Caroling for a Cure, will be called Harmonies for Hope this year."

On the night of the Relay, the Planning Committee facilitates a variety of events for participants.

"As always, the Survivor Lap and the Luminaria ceremony [are] emotional and inspiring. The silent lap around the track to view the illuminated Luminaria bags, each dedicated to someone touched by cancer, is often a tearjerker," Marketing and Publicity Co-Chair Alexa Mechanic wrote in an email to The News-Letter. "However, it is quickly followed by the 'Fight Back' ceremony, in which the crowd rallies to fight cancer and find a cure. On a lighter note, we had Miss Maryland, Miss D.C. and Miss Delaware run the Miss Relay pageant [last year], and we would love to do something with a celeb headline again this year!"

While student experiences with Relay for Life at Hopkins are mostly positive, the executive board hopes to improves on some past issues from previous years.

"As with any event, we encountered a couple of obstacles throughout the night. Our committee is on the smaller side to begin with, so coordinating all of the activities was a bit of a struggle," Mechanic wrote. "We blew the speakers early in the night, so this is something we will definitely make sure to fix this spring. We also would have liked more teams to spend the night in the tents!"

Regardless of the speed bumps the Relay has overcome in the past, the event is important not only for those whose lives are affected directly by the American Cancer Society, but to those who are empowered by the prospect of uniting against cancer itself.

"I signed up for Relay freshman year because my high school never had one. Cancer is such a scary disease, and I felt as though I should do everything in my power to fight it," Mechanic wrote. "The cause has become very personal to me, and it feels good to know that I'm working to find a cure for a disease that has unfortunately infiltrated our society."

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