NSU’s Relay For Life doesn’t sleep – and neither does cancer

NSU’s annual Relay for Life is set for Friday, April 19, on the Alvin Sherman Library Quad. The event  begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 12 a.m. on April 20.

Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society,  that takes place in 27 countries, according to their website. It was started in 1985 by Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt, who spent 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound to raise awareness and money for cancer. Since that first year, the event has gone global and raised over $5 billion. The signature event lasts 6-24 hours, depending on the individual organization, to symbolize that cancer never sleeps.

“We’re trying to replicate [Dr. Klatt’s] efforts, and that sentiment that cancer never sleeps. The whole purpose of Relay for Life is to raise money and awareness for it. We want to show that the community, as a whole, is more powerful than cancer… and that we’re one day going to beat the disease,” said Deborah Radmanesh, director of Relay for Life at NSU.

Any student, staff or member of the community can sign up as individuals or make teams for the race, in order to raise money as an  organization or group. Participants are also able to download the American Cancer Society’s mobile FUNdraising app, available in the App Store or Google Play Store, to accept and process donations, track progress, send reminders to donors and much more.

Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to create a luminaria, a feature of every Relay for Life event. The bags are decorated with names and sometimes messages for the people they are dedicated to.

“At night, usually around 9 or 10 p.m., anyone who would like could create a luminaria bag for someone that they’re commemorating either for someone that is fighting cancer or has lost their battle,” explained Radmanesh,  “During the ceremony we all light a candle or glow stick in the bags lined around the track, which creates a very powerful visual component to the event… We can see how many people we’re doing this event for, and it brings the meaning back into the event.”

To sign up for volunteer opportunities with the American Cancer Society, visit secure.acsevents.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=relay, and continue checking the Student Leadership and Civic Engagement (SLCE) SharkHub page for information about signing up for volunteering at the NSU event. For more information about the organization, or to sign up for NSU’s Relay for Life, call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or go to relayforlife.org/novafl.

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