FIU shows ‘support’ with Relay for Life

Patricia Katri/Staff Writer

Each year, members of the FIU community gather for Relay for Life, a two-day event that features activities, friendly competition, food, music.

A worldwide endeavor and the main fundraiser of the , Relay for Life began in 1985 and is run by volunteers in more than 5200 countries.

At the University, Relay at Life, to be held Friday, Feb. 24-25 at the Ryder Business Loop, features teams of members of the FIU community who fundraise by selling or making something such as airbrush tattoos or providing a service or activity.

“Teams are created by students at the University or community members,” Yunova Delgadillo, one of the team’s co-directors for Relay for Life this year, said.  “Currently, we have teams created by established clubs/organizations on campus, groups of students that are just friends, staff members under a particular office, schools surrounding the university and community members that are interested in helping the cause.”

Relay for Life’s organizers communicate with team Captains, who are selected by each team, through Team Ambassadors, students on the FIU Relay Committee,  according to Delgadillo. Team captains attend meetings or are kept up-to-date virtually of preparation activities by team captains.

“Once the teams are created the team  ambassadors and team captains work together to make sure that everything that is needed to create a successful event is passed on,” Delgadillo said.  “ These teams show up on the day of Relay for Life, fundraising throughout the night.”

Relay for Life has grown at FIU throughout the years.  Last year, almost 8000 people participated and fundraised $117,000.

“We are very excited to see the turnout this year as the executive board, committee, teams and participants have worked very hard to make this year successful,” Delgadillo said.

Relay for Life’s organizers highlight the importance of raising awareness for the event, stressing that anyone can participate.

“This is a community event and everyone is welcome to come and support and have fun,” Delgadillo said.  “We not only like to include students and faculty that attend FIU, but also families and friends that are in the area that are willing and looking forward to spending time at the event and helping the fundraising efforts.”

The mission of Relay for Life, to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and a cure, is one shared by many students.

“Cancer is so complex that we need to be able to fund researchers, scientists, and associations in order to give them a chance at finding a cure,” junior finance major Samantha Lola said.  “Every dollar is taking one step forward.”

Besides fundraising, students at the University can help the ACS by participating in such activities as Road to Recovery, Look Good Feel Better, and Reach to Recovery, which collect funds for programs that help cancer patients in their treatment, recovery and transition to cancer-free status easier.

Like Relay for Life, the focus is ultimately on raising awareness and providing resources for those who suffer from cancer and their support networks.

As stated in Relay for Life’s FIU website, this is opportunity to not only honor cancer survivors and remember people we have lost, but also to raise funds and awareness to help save lives.

For information and support for cancer patients and caregivers alike, call the ACS hotline number at 800-227-2345.

 

Photo retrieved from Flickr.

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