Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s largest and most well-known fundraising events. Hosted by thousands of volunteers throughout the world, the proceeds from the Walk-A-Thon helps support the efforts of the ACS to provide research funding, support patients and their caregivers, and work towards a world without cancer. The motto of Relay for Life is Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back (CRFB): We celebrate survivors, remember those we have lost and fight back against this terrible disease!
Penn State is one of the only collegiate Relay for Life events that is still 24 hours long—because cancer never sleeps, neither do we! Students and community members sign up as teams or individuals, fundraise year-round and then spend a weekend camping out, walking the track and participating in a wide variety of games and activities. We also feature performances from student groups and a signature Luminaria Ceremony in which we illuminate the track with candles to honor of those we lost and reflect on why we Relay each year.
Why do you think your organization is important and meaningful on campus?
The American Cancer Society is an absolutely amazing organization that changes the lives of millions of people each year. Because of Relay for Life, they have been able to provide unparalleled support to doctors, cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and everyone in-between. Each Relay is one step closer to a cure for a disease that has at one point or another impacted the lives of all of us. It’s absolutely amazing to see how students and community members from all different backgrounds can come together for just 24 hours and do so much good in the process.
How did you decide to take on your role as Administrative Liaison for Relay for Life?
I practically grew up attending Relay for Life Events in New Jersey with my extended family in honor of our loved ones (including my grandparents and mom) who had been touched by cancer. Because Relay had been such an important part of my childhood and had left such an impact on me, I applied to be on a committee as soon as possible my freshman year. I was an Entertainment Committee member and helped create games and activities for all Relay Participants. After an absolutely phenomenal experience last year, applying again was a no-brainer. I am on the Entertainment Committee again this year, but this time as an Administrative Liaison helping to plan more events and performance for Relay 2018.
How does your work with Relay for Life give you the opportunity to use your gifts and passions?
Relay for Life here at Penn State is an extremely special community of motivated and dedicated people constantly working to make the world a better place. Being a part of this group has allowed me to take my enthusiasm and passion for philanthropy and put them to use in an environment that produces positive change around the country.
Why do you think your organization makes a difference in this world?
If you’ve ever walked by the Student Book Store on the Friday before a home game this semester, you probably encountered some group of Relay Overall Directors and Committee Members canning. When you hear us say that “every penny counts,” we truly mean it. By working together to support the American Cancer Society and embody what it means to CRFB, Penn State Relay for Life makes a world without cancer seem a little bit more possible!
Anything to say for students who might want to join this club?
As someone with 10+ years of Relay experience, I promise you won’t regret it!! Visit us on Facebook (Relay for Life of Penn State) and Instagram (@psurelayforlife) to stay updated on our on-campus events and how to get more involved. Recruit some friends or your entire organization to make a team at psurelay.org and begin fundraising today!