Relay aims to raise cancer research funding
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 17:02
On any given day in the United States, more than 4,400 people will hear the words “you have cancer,” according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
In lieu of that, ACS will be hosting the Relay For Life event on campus at 5 p.m. March 8 at the old ASU track. The event is a way for people in the community to make donations that will help those in the community affected by cancer.
The Relay For Life is the largest national fundraiser for the ACS. It is designed to not only spread awareness of cancer and its impact on the world, but also to help local communities join together to raise money and help others who are suffering or have suffered from cancer themselves.
“Everybody has been affected by cancer. The more money we raise, the more of a chance our children will not have to go in and hear that they or someone else has cancer,” said Ashley Jones, Community Representative of the Mid South Division for ACS.
The Relay For Life typically starts late in the day and the teams will walk all through the night or until a specified time. One team “relay” member will walk at a time, and switch out throughout the night. The Relay at ASU is scheduled to end at midnight.
The fundraising for this event takes place in months prior to the relay. Each team that is participating is encouraged to raise as much money as they can before the day of the Relay.
Each team will set up a spot around the track before the event takes place so they will have a rally point, which is a place to refuel with drinks and food throughout the night. Every team that enters the relay seeks to receive as many donations as they can to help the American Cancer Society in its quest to defeat the spread of cancer.
Signing up for the Relay For Life is as easy as going on the website. If it is too short notice to create a team or join a pre-existing one, volunteers and even spectators are encouraged to come out and enjoy the positive atmosphere. So far 12 teams have signed up and more are expected to participate. Donations are accepted online as well.
“We host the Relay For Life to raise money for research that focuses on finding a cure so we can celebrate more birthdays,” Jones said.
In May 1985, the founder of the event, Dr. Gordy Klatt, first started the event at a track in Tacoma, Wash. He walked and ran for 24 hours straight, raising $27,000. Since the first event, the American Cancer Society has raised $4 billion toward fighting cancer.
Events such as the Relay help spread the awareness of cancer and raise funds to learn how to defeat cancer, how to overcome it, and how to grow from it.