SMU Relay For Life 2015 exceeds fund-raising goal

American Cancer Society

SMU Relay For Life 2015 exceeds fund-raising goal

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SMU Relay for Life 2015, April 10-11, raises approximately $176,400 benefitting the American Cancer Society.

SMU held its 12th annual Relay for Life on Saturday, April 10-11, from 6:30 p.m.-11:30 a.m. During the overnight fundraising walk, tables and tents filled the Boulevard as more than 1,500 students and community members came out to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer.

The event raised approximately $176,400 benefitting the American Cancer Society, well exceeding the goal of $158,000. Two standouts in the fundraising efforts were the SMU Kappa Alpha Theta team and SMU senior Katie Schaible.

The Thetas topped the leader board for team fundraising this year, collecting more than $38,761. After a junior in the SMU Theta pledge class was diagnosed with cancer during the Fall 2014 term, the Relay for Life movement became the perfect platform for the sorority to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The entire chapter actively came together to support her, raise funds and bring awareness to the fight.

SMU senior Katie Schaible raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during her four years

SMU senior Katie Schaible raised more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during her four years at SMU.

For her fourth consecutive year, Katie Schaible made the individual fundraiser leader board. Schaible truly embodies the spirit of Relay for Life. After losing her father to melanoma at the age of 14, Schaible joined Relay for Life during her freshmen year and has raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society since.

Prior to the on-campus event, SMU Relay For Life won the title of number one college Relay in an online event on February 23-25, 2015. Competing against the top 25 American Cancer Society college Relays for Life, SMU Relay for Life took the top spot raising $45,534. Collectively the online event raised $315,654 benefiting the American Cancer Society.

“The SMU community rose to new heights with the unbelievable success they had during the Number One Relay Challenge,” said Rebecca Wood, staff partner for the Relay. “I am so proud of the student-led committee and the community as a whole.”

For more information or to donate to the cause, visit the SMU Relay For Life webpage or the SMU Relay For Life Facebook page.

SMU Relay for Life 2014 exceeds fund-raising goal

SMU held its 11th annual Relay For Life Saturday, April 5 from noon-midnight. The theme of this year’s event, “Fight Back on the Boulevard,” played off the University’s renowned Boulevard parties before football games. The SMU RFL board wanted the event “to reflect the culture and community of SMU,” said Event Chair Liz Blumberg.

SMU RFL kicked off at noon with a speech from SMU Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios. Despite the overcast weather, students and community members came out to the Boulevard for food, bounce houses and laps – all in the name of fundraising.

The event raised more than $152,000 for the American Cancer Society, well exceeding the goal of $145,000 set by the RFL board. Two standouts in the fundraising efforts were the SMU Kappa Alpha Theta team and SMU student Katie Schaible.

The Thetas were the #2 team for fundraising this year, collecting more than $20,000 as a team. In addition, Theta team member Paulena Johnson made the individual fundraiser leader board during the Collegiate Relay prior to the event. A senior in the SMU Theta pledge class was diagnosed with cancer during the Fall 2013 term. The entire chapter came together to support her, raise funds and bring awareness to the fight.

Katie Schaible also made the individual fundraiser leader board for the Collegiate Relay, helping to secure SMU’s top spot out of 25 college relays in the country. Schaible did more than raise over $30,000: She served as the Teams Director on the SMU RFL board for the second year in a row. “Without the learning curve that comes with stepping into a new position, I was able to improve the recruitment and development process,” she said.

Schaible truly embodies the spirit of Relay. She lost her father to melanoma cancer when she was 14 years old and, following her sister’s example at Texas A&M, she joined Relay when she came to SMU.

“Relay has served as grief counseling for me – I am overcoming my sadness and anger about cancer by fighting back against it,” she said. During her freshman year, Schaible raised around $26,000, her sophomore year $22,000 and this year $32,000. She hopes by the time she graduates that she will have raised $100,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Relay For Life hosted another successful event that brought the whole community together. With more than 1,200 participants and 56 teams registered, this is an event that puts classifications aside and brings the community together to fight back.

Photo 1: C/O SMU RFL Instagram & Photo 2: C/O SMU Theta Instagram

April 14, 2014|For the Record, News|

SMU Relay For Life team wins top place for cancer fund-raising, event returns to campus April 5, 2014

SMU Relay For Life 2014 graphicSMU’s Relay For Life team won first place among the top 25 collegiate relay teams by raising more than $29,000 in pledges in a 72-hour fundraising event to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Following up on the pledges, SMU will hold its 11th annual Relay For Life walk-and-run event from noon-midnightSaturday, April 5.

>  Learn more about SMU Relay For Life on Facebook

Relay For Life is designed to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local campus, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path.

SMU won the #1 Relay Challenge March 3-5, where the top 25 collegiate relay teams from 2013 competed in an online challenge to see who could raise the most Relay for Life pledge money in a 72-hour period.

“The campus-wide effort behind our victory in the #1 Relay competition was truly humbling,” said Liz Blumberg, SMU Relay For Life event chair. “We could not be more proud of the SMU community and the compassion, commitment and generosity displayed over a whirlwind 72 hours.”

Register for or donate to an event at relayforlife.org

SMU Relay For Life took top honors after defeating defending champion Virginia Tech by a more than $7,000 margin by combining social media outreach, phone campaigns and emailing.  The University of Georgia came in second and Virginia Tech placed third.

Campus festivities kick off at noon Saturday, April 5, with an opening ceremony followed by a survivors and caregivers lap at 12:15 p.m. Lanterns will be lit at 8:30 p.m. in memory of or to honor a person with cancer, with each luminaria personalized with a name, photo, message or drawing. Luminarias can be purchased prior to the event for $10.

Closing ceremonies will take place at 11:30 p.m.

Relay for Life began in Tacoma, Washington, with the initiative of one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt. In May 1985 he ran a track for 24 hours and, with the support of his friends, family and the community, raised $27,000. Relay for Life is now the largest nonprofit activity in the world. It takes place in more than 20 countries and has raised more than $4 billion to fight cancer.

Written by Christina Voss

> Visit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event finder

April 4, 2014|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|

SMU celebrates a decade of Relay for Life April 12, 2013

Relay For Life come back to the Boulevard for its 10th year on Friday, April 12, 2013. This year’s event theme, “Cheers to 100 Years of More Birthdays,” recognizes the centennials being celebrated by both SMU and the American Cancer Society. Together they will celebrate the lives saved during those 100 years and set a goal to finish the fight and find a cure in the next 100 years.

SMU student and Relay for Life Director of Communications Taylor Lack says she relays because “come this October, I will be 13 years cancer-free. I look forward to celebrating many more healthy birthdays in my life.”

Friday activities kick off at 5 p.m., with the opening ceremony scheduled for 6 p.m., including both a survivors and caregivers lap at 6:30 p.m. The traditional luminaria ceremony is at 9 p.m., in which lanterns are lit in memory or honor of a person with cancer. (Luminarias can be purchased prior to the event.) Each is personalized with a name, photo, message or drawing. A Fight Back ceremony at midnight recognizes the emotional commitment the fight against cancer entails, not only for the patients but also loved ones and communities.

The 24-hour relay comes to a close at 5 a.m. It’s a time to celebrate and remember the commitment participants made to continue the fight all year long.

There will be a survivors’ dinner on Thursday, Mar. 21, as well as during the event. The dinner is at Gordon Biersch, and survivors on campus can contact Alex Philipson for more information.

In addition to remembering and honoring the fight against cancer, Relay for Life helps to raise money for the American Cancer Society. “It is thanks to the selfless work of ACS, and the money raised by events like Relay, that cancer patients are surviving and thriving,” Lack says.

Last year SMU RFL raised $140,000; this year’s goal is $158,000. The SMU group has raised $55,753.42 thus far. The 2012-13 Relay for Life Board is the top fund-raising team with $21,823.01; Kappa Alpha Theta follows with $10,240 and Pi Beta Phi rounds out the top three teams with $7,325 raised. For more information on creating a team, contact Katie Schaible. The final team meeting is March 26, 2013.

Relay for Life began in Tacoma, Washington due to the initiative of one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt. In May 1985, he ran a track for 24 hours and with the support of his friends, family and the community raised $27,000. Relay for Life is now the largest nonprofit activity in the world; it takes place in more than 20 countries and has raised more than $4 billion to fight cancer.

For more information or to donate to the cause visit the Relay for Life site or SMU RFL Facebook.

(Image 1, 2)

March 21, 2013|Calendar Highlights, Save the Date, Tune In|

SMU’s 9th annual Relay For Life scheduled for April 13-14, 2012

Survivors, caregivers and supporters walked all night during SMU's 2011 Relay For Life cancer fundraiser. Photo credit: Clayton T. Smith.

More than 2,000 SMU community members will walk all night to raise money and awareness for cancer research during the University’s 9th annual Relay For Life cancer fundraiser.

The 2012 event takes place from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday, April 13-14, on Bishop Boulevard. Funds raised will benefit the American Cancer Society.

The 12-hour walk – open to all SMU faculty, staff and students – is meant to remind the community that cancer never sleeps and that the fight against it must always move forward. SMU’s goal is to raise $116,000.

In just two months, SMU first-year student Kathryn Schaible, whose father died of melanoma when she was 14, has already raised $20,000 in pledges for the cause.

“I know how cancer can break a family down and change your life,” Schaible said. “The Relay For Life fundraising experience has been much more than raising money. It has given me the opportunity to spread awareness, and talk about treatment and prevention. Educating people and sharing my story has kept me committed to this project.”

An opening ceremony on Friday will honor cancer survivors. Following the ceremony, events such as a wing-eating contest, Zumba and yoga classes, a movie on the lawn and a car smash will keep supporters entertained until the walk ends at 5 a.m. on Saturday.

Live entertainment starts at 5 p.m. Friday and will include performances by the Empower Africa dancers, the Mustang Mavericks country-western dance team, the Empowered Hip Hop dancers, the Stephanie Little Band, Spencer Fox, MOVE, TREAT, and SMU’s student a cappella singing groups Belle Tones and Southern Gentlemen.

Sponsors include the Willits Foundation, EPIC, the SMU Student Senate, United Health Services, IFC, WestPoint Financial Group, Mass Mutual, Baylor Hospitals, UPS, Hannon Hydraulics and Blackberry.

Visit relayforlife.org/smutx for details on donations and participation.

Written by Christina Voss

April 10, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|
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