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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Relay For Life continues fundraising efforts through new engagement initiatives

One of Case Western Reserve University’s biggest events, Relay For Life, is just around the corner.

Founded in 1985, Relay For Life is a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. Participants camp out in teams, and members take turns walking around a track throughout the night. As stated by the American Cancer Society, the mission of Relay For Life is to celebrate those who have won their battle against cancer, remember those who have lost their lives to cancer, and help fight cancer through research funding. Since 1985, Relay for Life has grown into an international fundraising event in which over four million people participate every year.

Last year, CWRU was able to raise over $70,000 for the American Cancer Society and approximately 1200 students participated. Many project this year’s event will raise even more money due to increased participation and creative fundraising efforts. The CWRU Relay For Life committee, for example, started Mustache March this year. In Mustache March, a person or a team submits a picture of themselves with a real or fake mustache. The photos are then posted to the Relay For Life’s Facebook page and people vote for their favorite picture. The top three photos then get to compete in a fundraising challenge.

During the event, there will also be lots of food, music, and games to help keep participants’ energy up throughout the event. This year there will be a midnight pizza party, a wing eating contest sponsored by the Class Officer Collective, a male beauty pageant, and much more.

In addition, for the first time this year there will also be Relay Cup. Teams will participate in various competitions, and the team who gets the most points will win a party at the Jolly Scholar.

“Relay For Life is the biggest on-campus fundraiser at CWRU. To see students show up for a common cause is really great, and with all the food and entertainment, it is a lot of back-to-back fun. Students will not want to leave,” said Shruti Srinavas, CWRU sophomore and entertainment co-chair for Relay For Life.

One of the biggest and most important traditions at Relay For Life is the Luminaria ceremony. During the ceremony, bags are decorated by people to commemorate a loved one who has lost their battle against cancer. Each bag will contain a candle which will then be lit and lined up along the track. Some of the bags will form the word “Hope” and during the ceremony it will be changed to “Cure.” This year, the guest speaker at the Luminaria Ceremony will be Mary Step, a researcher at CWRU. The ceremony will conclude with reciting a list of names that each bag is dedicated for, and participants will walk around the track for a silent lap.

Relay For Life will be on Apr. 20 from 1 p.m. to 7 a.m. Students can register with a team to fundraise, or they can come individually just the day of the event.

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