By Meredith Dobes
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014, there will be more than 1.5 million new cancer cases diagnosed and more than 500,000 cancer deaths in the United States.
Relay for Life events help to raise money for cancer research, treatment and patient recovery.
Roosevelt University’s second annual ACS Relay for Life is scheduled for March 28 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Lillian and Larry Goodman Center.
Fernando Arce, a student member of the event’s publicity committee, said the goal for this year is to raise at least $15,000 dollars, an increase from the more than $10,000 raised last year.
“There are many participants that have already reached [the ACS’s goal of $100 per person] and even exceeded it,” he said. “We have several teams that have already raised more than $300.”
This year’s event will have activities, games, music and food, along with more live performances than last year’s event.
As of Friday, the university’s Relay has 26 teams and 142 individual participants signed up. They raised $5961, with participant Clarice Howard at $690, participant Maggie Dobek at $630 and team High Rollers at $1105.
“We are trying to make this year’s Relay bigger and better even than what it was last year,” Arce said. “We already have more participants than we did last year.”
Arce said that the event has been in the works since the beginning of the school year, with all members of Colleges Against Cancer working to find survivors, plan with the university and the ACS, find sponsors for the event and advertise.
Jake Counselbaum, the MC for last year’s Relay, said that people should attend this year’s event because it’s for a good cause, it will be a fun time and, “you’ll even get to have a conversation with [President Charles Middleton.]”
Last year, students Gail Concepcion, Brenden Carlson, Cara Garvey, Christian Weber, Amelia Enberg and Samantha Benduha worked together to bring Relay to the campus.
“I decided to participate in Relay For Life this year because of how amazing of an event it turned out to be last spring,” Concepcion said. “Relay For Life is a time where the entire RU community gets together for 12 hours to celebrate, remember and fight back — a.k.a. a party with a purpose.”
She added about this year’s event, “More people know about it, so the energy level has been so high. The CAC this year is comprised of really dedicated, talented and passionate students who have been working so hard to make this event one to remember.”
Students, faculty and staff can sign up for the event by visiting relayforlife.org, searching for “Roosevelt University,” clicking on the first result and following the instructions provided. People will still be able to sign up on the day of the event at a registration table in the Goodman Center.
“For me, I’ve had several family members that were diagnosed with cancer and some that were not able to survive the disease,” Arce said. “That is why Relay for Life is so important for me and why I’m working with Colleges Against Cancer.
We are excited to show Roosevelt what a great event this is as we raise money and cancer awareness throughout the night. We really encourage everyone to come out to the Goodman Center. It’s going to be a great event.”