Whitney Bashaw, Editor-in-Chief
Relay for Life, the annual volunteer-driven fundraiser for cancer research, made over $45,000 and drew a crowd of 1,300 people to the 12-hour event.
From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday April 13, Dewar Arena in the Alumni Field House was converted into a a fundraiser bazaar, replete with games and activites as well as a place to sleep and, of course, walk for the cause.
The event is organized by the College Against Cancer club (CAC). Both SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick clubs put effort into making it successful. Numerous clubs, fraternities and sororities, residence halls and community members get involved every year.
“A lot of people do it in groups, it’s the biggest community service event on campus,” explains Senior David Heaphy, a volunteer for the event and a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the community service organization.
Not only is it the biggest community service fundraiser, it is the largest event held on campus by any club.
During the event there is music provided by campus bands and activities to engage the community such as a zumba class and video games. It is also a place for those affected by cancer, whether it be their own experience or loved ones’, to share their stories, give and get support.
“The experience is really profound and emotional, it has a strong impact for all involved,” said Heaphy.
Relay for Life was started by Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, in 1986. Klatt wished to raise money for the American Cancer Society and people starting pledging money to walk with him in honor of his patients.
36 years later, Relay for Life has grown into an international event, raising money for cancer research and cancer patients, and also to spread cancer awareness, celebrate the lives of survivors, remember those who have lost their lives and unite communities in the fight against cancer.
Students involved in the event worked tirelessly to bring it together and their work paid off in pledges and participation. “The event went over without a hitch and the committee couldn’t be happier with the turnout,” said Events and Programs chair and Junior Blair Newberg.
Linda Drake, director of the Center for Social Responsibility and Community remarked, “CAC did a great job organizing this huge event. Hartwick and SUNY work together for this great party with a cause. I’m so proud of our students!”