By HALEY VAN SCHAICK
On March 27, many students from Lynn and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) got their sneakers and tents together at FAU’s track and field for Relay For Life.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is the world’s largest movement to end cancer. Relay is an inspiring, one-of-a-kind experience that unites people in nearly every community to finish the fight against every kind of cancer.
“In 2007, my brother was diagnosed with brain cancer. At the time, I was in the 6th grade,” said Victoria Alvarez, freshman and Event Chair for the FAU/ Lynn Relay. “I was 12-years-old and he was 15. After my teachers found out he was diagnosed, they introduced me to Relay for Life. Since then, I have never left Relay’s side and I continue to raise more and more each year. Last year, I was able to raise almost $3,000. I’m doing this so that more people can have success stories like my brother’s.”
Leading up to the event, people form teams and raise money toward the fight for a cure. Then, everyone comes together for a night of fun that celebrates cancer survivors, remembers loved ones lost to cancer and unites all in the commitment to fight back against the disease.
The event is 12 hours long, beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m., which is symbolic of the fact that cancer never rests, so neither do the participants. The journey through the night resembles the journey of a patient when undergoing treatment. Just as the participants go home tired and drained at the end of the event, so does a cancer patient after receiving treatment.
The committee, a group of students from both Lynn and FAU, worked extremely hard over the past few months planning this large event. Not only did they fundraise and push people to join teams and participate, but they also created a unique schedule for the events that were going to place that night.
The committee decided to have the Relay theme be “Once Upon a Time in a World Without Cancer” so that each team could represent a different fairy tale or Disney movie. The activities that went on during the event fell in line with the theme. For example, there were theme laps that played songs from different Disney classics and even a Ms. Relay pageant, where the male participants dressed up princesses and the female participants dressed up as princes to compete against one another.
These events, along with food and entertainment kept participants energized throughout the night, even with some rainfall here and there.
Lynn University students were responsible for some of Relay’s top donating teams. Zeta Beta Tau, raised an impressive $2,760.00, the Blue Knights raised $2,758.00 and Sigma Sigma Sigma raised $2,188.00.
Despite the poor weather, Relay for Life was a very successful event. Many students had a great time and loved the opportunity to support a great cause. Together, FAU and Lynn raised more than $31,900. Although the main event has passed, the Relay For Life of FAU/ Lynn will be continuing to fundraise and accept donations for the 2015 event until August. Hoping to hit $45,000, the committee hopes to plan some fundraising events to help the American Cancer Society kiss cancer goodbye.
“I was so lucky to have met Tim Drevins, our American Cancer Society Staff Partner, and the rest of our commit- tee. The event not only brought happiness to my heart, but tears to my eyes as well. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of something more beautiful,” said Alvarez.