By: JIM VOGEL-Staff Writer
College Against Cancer will be hosting a Relay for Life event on Friday, April 11, at ArtStreet to raise money, awareness and support about cancer in the University of Dayton community.
CAC Vice President Bailey Romans, a junior public relations major, said Relay for Life is part of the American Cancer Society’s international fundraising program.
The event begins 4 p.m. Friday and lasts for 18 hours, concluding at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 12, Romans said.
The event began in 1985 when Gordy Tacoma of Tacoma, Wash. ran around the University of Puget Sound’s Baker Stadium for 24 hours, covering 83 miles and raising $27,000 for his ACS office, according to Cancer.org.
CAC Relay for Life Co-Chairs Morgan Dill, a senior education major, and Emily Dippold, a junior exercise physiology major, have been involved with CAC and Relay for Life on campus since their freshman year and “have demonstrated extraordinary leadership over the years,” Romans said.
“So far we have 52 teams and 490 participants that have registered for the event and will be walking the track on ArtStreet this weekend,” Dippold said.
Faculty, students, and several communication courses have been actively involved in the organization, execution and participation of the event, said Romans.
“As a public relations major, seeing so many people come together to work on this real life event has helped me realize more clearly what I want to do with my life,” Romans said.
To date, UD Relay for Life has raised $20,000 toward this year’s goal of $44,000, Dippold said.
In addition to the money raised from the team registration, donors can buy luminaries in memory of people touched by the disease and can also sponsor walkers, Dippold said.
Two local businesses, Meijer and Dublin Financial Group, have provided monetary donations as official sponsors of the UD Relay for Life, Dill said.
Friday will begin with a Survivorship Banquette sponsored by Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Dayton, in which seven cancer survivors will be honored and celebrated, Dill explained.
Throughout the night, at least one person on each team will continue to walk the track in support of all those afflicted by the disease, Romans said.
Several other events are scheduled throughout the evening, including a cancer prevention session promoting healthy choices that can combat the disease and an advocacy session promoting issues like smoking bans and tanning regulations, Dill said.
A closing session in the morning will wrap up the event with awards presented to participants along with final remarks regarding the impact of cancer on so many lives both at UD and beyond, Dill explained.
“Relay for Life has one goal in mind, and that’s to make sure that no one has to hear the words, ‘you have cancer.’ It touches so many lives and one of our intentions for the event is always the idea that cancer does not discriminate. It touches people from all walks of life,” Dill said.
Dippold said her involvement with Relay for Life and the ACS started in her hometown during high school.
“I really loved being a part of the program. I have had family affected by cancer so it’s personal. I got involved here at UD during my freshman year and I knew it was something I really wanted to do and something meaningful. I loved the committee and the people involved. I have worked my way up and am honored to be one of the co-chairs for this event,” Dippold said.
Dill shared her own connection to cancer through her sister-in-law.
“She was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with twin girls. Seeing her go through chemotherapy made the disease so much more real to me,” Dill said. Her sister-in-law is now in remission and has become involved in Relay for Life herself.
Registration is still open for teams of 10-15 students until Friday, Dill said. The cost is $10 per team member and registration can be completed at relayforlife.com.