Relay for Life succeeds despite last minute planning

Participants in Relay for Life, a fundraiser for cancer research, walk past luminaries in a silent lap. This year’s Relay for Life was held in Ping Center on Saturday. (Eli Hiller | For The Post)

Hundreds of students pulled an all-nighter Friday night — not to study but to raise money for cancer patients.

Relay for Life, the 18-hour fundraiser during which students walk all night to fund cancer research and patient care, raised more than $44,000 during its event at Ping Center, said Paige Duffy, co-president of the Relay for Life planning committee and a senior studying nursing.

The committee’s goal was to raise $46,000, but its members will continue to fundraise until August.

“I think it’s very doable,” Duffy said.

The event was completely contained in Ping Center, but it spread throughout the third-floor track where participants would walk laps, a gym that held a table area for each separate team and space in the main lobby for entertainment and activities.

The planning committee had a difficult time choosing a location for the event because the weather was unpredictable, Duffy said.

After multiple meetings with employees at Ping Center, the committee was able to rent the three rooms in the center for $3,600, which was paid for with Student Advisory Council and judicial funding, Duffy said.

“That’s $3,600 that would have gone towards our total for research for cancer,” she said.

Despite the cost, Jordan Mescher, planning committee co-president for the event and a senior studying finance and marketing, said that next year, the committee plans to keep Relay indoors because of the early date.

There were 57 teams and 814 participants that signed up to take part in fundraising and activities, which was the most participation Duffy said the fundraiser has had in her four years on the planning committee.

Activities during the event included traditional Relay events such as the survivor lap and the luminaria silent lap and extra events such as the Miss Relay Pageant — in which guys dressed up as girls, demonstrated their talents and made speeches — and the Glow-in-the-Dark 5k at midnight. 

Angela Satava, a junior studying exercise physiology who participated with the women’s crew team, said her favorite part of the evening was the 5k because the crew team brought glow sticks and threw glow-in-the-dark paint.

The 5k was successful in keeping students at Relay involved throughout the long night, Mescher said, even though it was put together at the last minute.

“We didn’t quite know what to expect, but everything went well,” he said.

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