SMU Relay for Life 2014 exceeds fund-raising goal

Relay for Life Board

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 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|
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