By Leandro Linares
On March 2, the philanthropic annual event, Relay for Life at FIU, took place. The nationwide event raises money to support the American Cancer Society.
For the past 14 years the University and local residents have come out with a lot of support; with over 1000 people participated this year.
Relay for Life took place this year in front of the Ryder Business Building Loop, same as last year. Except this year’s event began at 5 p.m and lasted until 2 a.m. Even though the event was less time than last year, the Relay team was still able to reach its goal with $77,000. Slightly under last year’s record-breaking total of $115,003.
Each year organizations, school clubs and local businesses team up and put tents along the loop. Here, they sell food, have interactive games, and bring awareness to the cause. This year there were around 30 plus organizations at Relay for Life. One of the activities that move people the most is the head shaving for cancer awareness.
The activity consists of volunteers shaving their heads or cutting some off to show support for the cancer community. In some cases, the hair is actually shaved and donated to actual patients that need the hair.
Jorgini Navarro-Coordinator Lead Director for Relay for Life, senior at FIU, had a bigger reasoning for volunteering for this great event. This past May, Navarro’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. After battling this horrible diseases Navarro’s grandmother is cancer free and was in attendance at Relay for Life.
Navarro volunteered to cut some of her hair off on-stage. In addition, who else but her own grandmother was the one to cut it off. “Anyone that hasn’t been to Relay for Life is missing on seeing the FIU community come together for one cause is amazing and moving,” said Navarro.
Charles Kelly-Street Team, a junior studying mechanical engineering at FIU has attended Relay for Life all three years of his college career. I asked him why does he keep coming back? “ Because the money being raised goes to help so many families that are struggling, and so the least we can do is help out one day,” said Kelly.
The team to raise the most money were the sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon. With both their teams Jenny Dream Team(Tribute to sister Jenny Cordero who was a cancer survivor that recently passed away) and Active members raising over $10,000.
“Not only has my family been affected by cancer but Jenny and so many others have also. It’s was important for my sorority sisters, friends, and families to raise as much money as possible to help find a cure for cancer,” said Melanie Rodriguez a sophomore studying broadcast media at FIU.
After it was all set and done, Relay for Life reached its goal once again.