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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Marching against cancer

    Carolyn Quigley, a junior majoring in physiology, jots down brainstormed ideas for raising funds for Relay for Life, a cancer walk on the Mall by the Student Union Memorial Center that goes all night. For this years event, organizers are hoping to hit $90,000.
    Carolyn Quigley, a junior majoring in physiology, jots down brainstormed ideas for raising funds for Relay for Life, a cancer walk on the Mall by the Student Union Memorial Center that goes all night. For this year’s event, organizers are hoping to hit $90,000.

    Organizers of Relay for Life, an all-night walk around the UA Mall to raise funds to battle cancer, are looking to increase their ranks and raise more money for this year’s event, with a goal of 90 teams and $90,000.

    Relay for Life starts at 5 p.m. April 20 and runs until 8 a.m. April 21. The money collected from the event will go to the American Cancer Society.

    So far, 11 UA Relay for Life teams have raised $1,665 and organizers are still recruiting teams and team captains.

    The teams range from eight to 15 people, and during the event one person from each team must walk the course at all times.

    “”The reason why one person must walk at all times is because cancer never sleeps, and neither do we,”” said Mara Stumpf, a physiology senior and team recruitment co-chair.

    Corrine Walker, a molecular and cellular biology senior and team recruitment co-chair, said 85 UA teams raised $63,000 last year, short of the $70,000 goal – although organizers hope to change that trend this year.

    “”Our dorm wants to get involved, and it’s a fun and easy way to do community service,”” said Nyssa Baca, a journalism sophomore and desk assistant at Gila Residence Hall.

    Before participating, registered teams will raise funds by hosting different activities in Tucson, such as car washes, golf tournaments and selling luminaria bags.

    The luminarias, made by placing small candles and sand in white paper bags, play a major role in Relay for Life, as they are decorated to celebrate those who have died from or survived cancer, Stumpf said.

    “”The bags are lit one-by-one, and everyone walks a lap together,”” Stumpf said. “”It’s just powerful.””

    A few of the students participating are doing it for not only a good cause but also for family members who have been afflicted with cancer.

    “”I had an uncle who passed away, and this is a way for me, through the University of Arizona, to serve my community,”” said Kohong Chen, a mechanical engineering junior.

    Abby Silberman, an accounting senior, said she has participated in the event for four years, also for personal reasons.

    “”I have a lot of family that have been through remission and have passed away because of cancer,”” Silberman said. “”I think it’s worth it.””

    Jason Saunders, a molecular and cellular biology junior and chair of Relay for Life, said he has also had family affected by cancer, which is why he’s participated in the fundraiser since high school.

    “”I do this because I want to do something that actually matters,”” Saunders said.

    Elyssa Metas, a physiology freshman and president of the UA Running Club, said her group is involved because it’s for a good cause and also a fun way to raise money.

    The UA Relay for Life organizers are motivating their teams by unofficially competing with Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.

    ASU has 25 teams, which have raised $4,295, while NAU’s four teams have raised $293.

    Since its creation in 1985, Relay for Life has raised $2 billion and expects to reach $3 billion next year, Saunders said.

    “”I love it,”” Silberman said. “”I know that the profits go to helping people with cancer and doing research.””

    For more information on the event, contact relayforlifeua@yahoo.com.

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