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Relay Targets Cancer

Alicia Unis ’13,  Staff Writer

Each year we all see the posters of the people wearing purple, with whiteboard messages of hope, smiles, birthdays, family and friends. But what is the Relay For Life?

Hosted in locations across the world, American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is an “organized, overnight community fundraising walk” to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

During this event, teams pay to register and have individual fundraising goals they wish to generate prior to, and during, the event. Throughout the night, members from each team take turns walking laps around the track.

On April 5, Merrimack is hosting its own Relay For Life, and in true Warrior fashion, is determined to do it right. Live to Give President and Co-Chair of the Relay For Life Committee Becca Ryan says the monetary goal for this relay is to “raise enough money to match one year’s tuition (and room and board) at Merrimack College,” currently $45,610. More important, she said, is bringing the college community together.

The Merrimack relay is dedicated to making this experience “special” and specific to this campus. Ryan says that because of our size, this event really does bring “everyone together in one place.” During the relay people camp out, play games, participate in competitions and activities, and enjoy food and company.

The Relay For Life Committee tries to make this night as special and enjoyable as possible by providing a variety of sources of entertainment. Among these features for the night are food and snacks, student performers, tie-dye, themed laps, a Dance Team Zumba class, relay races and obstacle courses, a V.I.P. Lounge, a “jail” game fundraiser, and never-ending music and fun.

To prepare for this event, the Relay For Life Committee has been fundraising and promoting awareness throughout the year. Currently, they are in production of the Relay for Life poster campaign, advertising this year’s theme of a world with less cancer and “more birthdays.” On Feb. 27 they will be holding their Spring Kick-Off, in which registration for relay is half the original price, at $5.

Also, they will be conducting the aptly named fundraiser The Purple Toilet; they wheel a purple porcelain bowl around campus, planting it in the offices of faculty and staff who pay $3 to have it removed and can pay $5 to have it placed in another office of their choice.

In addition, they will be selling American Cancer Society purple ribbons on Main Street to encourage students and faculty to increase awareness and “paint the campus purple.” The profits for all fundraisers and the event will go to the American Cancer Society. As of now, there are 25 teams and 191 participants registered for the Merrimack Relay For Life.

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