Current Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 22:20:45 -0400
In only its first year, the UNC Relay for Life won the "Heart of Relay" award this past weekend from the American Cancer Society.
The award recognizes the effort of more than 1,200 students, faculty, community members and cancer survivors to raise $98,000 for cancer research in the fund-raiser, which took place last April and is scheduled to be a yearly event.
"It means a lot to our committee to win the award in our first year while there were relays from other college campuses that were more established," said event chairwoman Lindsay Anderson.
The ACS-sponsored relay involved 87 teams walking laps around Fetzer Field for 24 hours to commemorate and celebrate the lives of cancer patients and survivors.
At a regional banquet Sept. 27, the ACS presented UNC Relay for Life with the award and inducted it into the "$100,00 Club" for netting $101,091 in overall fund raising. The additional money was raised over the summer.
Marie Shelton, community income manager for ACS and a staff partner for the event, said UNC Relay for Life was unprecedented.
"It was really phenomenal that it made such a huge and positive impact on students and the community," she said "I've never seen a first-year relay have this much success. This is a major reason why the relay won the award."
The relay, organized by UNC's Campus Y, will be classified as a special project, restructuring the way in which it is planned so this year organizers can allow more time for planning.
"It takes an entire year to put together," Anderson said. "As a special project, it allows organizers to devote all their time and effort to the event."
Money raised through the relay goes to the ACS's education, patient advocacy and research programs, as well as to research grants for scientists.
"The relay provides a forum for cancer research," Shelton said.
She said she was impressed with the effort and passion students put into organizing the relay.
"The students did a fantastic job and put in a lot of hard work," Shelton said.
Anderson again will help organize this year's relay, scheduled for next spring.
"I think the ACS saw how determined we were to make this event a success," she said. "We well surpassed our goal.
"UNC Relay for Life is a positive way of raising money to help find a cure for cancer."
Anyone interested in participating in this year's relay can contact Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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