Games, live performances and education booths covered Palmer Field on Saturday for the University’s annual Relay for Life event.
MRelay, the University’s chapter for Relay for Life that annually organizes the event to raise money for cancer research, hosted the 24-hour fundraising event for the 13th year.
LSA senior Dave Mullen-Muhr, MRelay executive director, said approximately 3,000 people attended Saturday’s event, including representatives from dozens of student organizations, clubs, fraternities and sororities.
In total, Mullen-Muhr said teams raised more than $368,000 through fundraising campaigns and benefit concerts held throughout the year. Mullen-Muhr said this total makes MRelay the “highest fundraising collegiate Relay for Life in the world.”
Aside from the games and performances, the event featured a candlelight Luminaria Ceremony, which included an opportunity for patients and survivors to share their experiences fighting cancer.
LSA sophomore Mitchell Becker, a cancer survivor, discussed losing loved ones to cancer.
“I choose to relay to remember the family members that I have lost and because there’s hope,” he said. “I hope that someday nobody should ever have to lose another friend or family to cancer.”
In an interview, LSA sophomore Meredith Joseph, an MRelay recruitment specialist, said the event aims to be a cathartic outlet for survivors and those currently fighting the disease.
“My mother, who passed away due to cancer, deserves to be remembered each and every day,” Joseph said. “When I chose to relay, I found a group who is passionate about curing cancer. Relay for Life gave me the courage and strength to open up and relate to a giant community.”
LSA sophomore Lauren Gallagher added that the event was important even for those not directly affected by cancer. Gallagher attended the event with members of her pre-law fraternity, Kappa Alpha Pi.
“We fundraise mostly for Relay because it’s a fun event and it’s for a great cause,” Gallagher said. “It’s really cool to see so many different sororities and fraternities come together. Plus, it’s a great way to escape and also have fun.”
MRelay will return next semester to promote campus-wide “No Shave November” activities as part of the worldwide event designed to raise awareness about prostate cancer.