BY ERIN COONEY & BRYANA CIELO
Staff Reporter & Managing Editor
Relay for Life hosted their 11th annual fundraiser at Sacred Heart’s William H. Pitt Center on Friday to build awareness and raise money for cancer.
This year’s event was Hawaiian themed; the event was called “Re Lei for Life.” Participants dressed in leis and tropical t-shirts as they walked around the track to show their support.
“Relay for Life fundraiser is a part of the American Cancer Society. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to lessen the burden on the survivors, caregivers, and those currently fighting cancer, as well as support research efforts working towards finding a cure for cancer,” said Relay for Life President Erica Heinz.
Relay for Life is a community-organized fundraising event, in which members of the community come together under the organization. Sacred Heart has its own Relay for Life club which students can join to help orchestrate the events and raise money.
“Once we went to one meeting, we immediately fell in love with the work that this organization does and the connection that it builds between the SHU community and the survivors in surrounding towns,” said Heinz. “This club has been on campus for 11 years, and the reason why we gain so much participation within the community is because cancer is such a prevalent disease. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by it.”
Sacred Heart created a fundraising page that encouraged people to form teams in order to walk together. Many of SHU’s Greek Life organizations created teams, as well as some clubs. To name a few: SHU Club Football, Kappa Alpha Theta, Iota Phi Theta, Theta Phi Alpha, Chi Omega, Kappa Delta, Delta Zeta, SET, Ivory Ella, and Love Your Melon.
“I am not a member of Relay for Life, but try to attend the yearly event as cancer education and awareness is something important to me. The event is upbeat yet sentimental, making fundraising something I want to be a part of,” said junior Sean Burke.
“I came to this event with a few of my buddies having never heard of it, but I am enjoying myself,” said freshman Andrew Zebarth. “The event raises money for a good cause but does not feel like just any fundraiser.”
The event consisted of both Sacred Heart students and members of the community. As of press time, it has raised $8,188.13.
The event was advertised through the efforts of the club’s marketing and advertising committee. “This committee is made up of mostly freshmen who brought new and fun ideas about ways to appeal to those on campus as well as creating the ads that we used to advertise the event. We have advertised through email, posters, fliers, and social media,” said Heinz.
“Cancer is something present in my family, so attending events to support members of the community is nice. Coming together with strangers for a meaningful cause is something I will always make time for,” said sophomore Kara Langdon.