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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA walks for cancer

    Undeclared sophomore Victor Vallet catches some shut-eye before starting his leg in the Relay for Life, held over the weekend on the UA Mall. Vallet said his goal was to get some rest while the majority of people were walking.
    Undeclared sophomore Victor Vallet catches some shut-eye before starting his leg in the Relay for Life, held over the weekend on the UA Mall. Vallet said his goal was to get some rest while the majority of people were walking.

    The glow of luminarias lit up the evening as people ran and walked around the UA Mall from Saturday afternoon through yesterday morning to raise money for cancer.

    The third annual Relay for Life raised more than $53,000 for the American Cancer Society, helping to fund cancer advocacy, education, research and patient services, said Brian Elisco, event chairman of the relay.

    More than 1,200 people making up about 90 teams helped to raise money this year for the overnight event through online fundraising, team fundraisers such as car washes, individual fundraisers and on-site fundraisers such as selling cookies, leis and T-shirts, Elisco said.

    Marie Davila-Woolsey, a psychology department faculty member and cancer survivor, said it was a good turnout, but she was disappointed that more faculty and UA departments weren’t involved. A 10-year survivor of breast cancer, Davila-Woolsey said she was diagnosed when she was an undergraduate at the UA.

    After having chemotherapy, she went on to graduate school at George Washington University and will graduate this year with her doctorate in clinical psychology.

    “”It’s a fun event,”” Davila-Woolsey said. “”I enjoy the energy of all the young people. I’m moved and touched by their commitment and sacrifice.””

    Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority was one of the largest teams this year, with 52 members, compared with their 12-member team last year.

    Team co-captain Erica Folkoff, a communication senior, said this is the second year the group has participated as a sorority, but many of their team members have participated since the event first began in Tucson.

    “”It’s a good way of supporting some of our members whose parents have passed away from cancer, as well as supporting a good cause,”” Folkoff said.

    Sharon Jundef, an education sophomore and a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi team, said it’s a good way to get involved in the community.

    “”It’s a very rewarding experience, and it’s fun,”” Jundef said.

    Some of the teams created banners, flags and even mascots for event. For example, team Superheroes for a Cure featured a cape-wearing, arrow-pierced cigarette mascot.

    “”Everybody has somebody they know who’s been affected by cancer,”” said Angela Nelson, team member of Superheroes for a Cure. “”It’s such a good event, and it’s worth being out here supporting it.””

    If everybody helped out just a little bit, it could make a huge difference, Nelson said.

    “”Everybody needs help sometimes,”” Nelson said. “”It’s such an amazing thing that just a little bit can go so far.””

    The evening was filled with different types of events and activities, including live bands, poker, face painting and a pie-eating contest.

    Katy McCulloch, a retail freshman and the food and beverage chair for the event, said Relay for Life is a fun event because you can get a bunch of your friends, stay up all night and support a good cause.

    “”Events like this are especially important on a college campus because we can recognize that we are working towards a greater goal,”” McCulloch said. “”People can start supporting cancer research earlier, too.””

    About 95 percent of the money raised will go directly to the American Cancer Society, and the remaining 5 percent is used to cover costs, Elisco said.

    There are more than 4,400 Relay for Life events worldwide, and about 350 of those are college events. The UA holds one of the biggest college events in the U.S., Elisco said.

    Relay for Life will probably be held at the UA again next year, Elisco said.

    “”We want to thank everyone who came out and supported us,”” Elisco said. “”We hope next year will be even bigger.””

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