SMU’s 2011 Relay For Life launches during Founders’ Day Weekend April 15-16

SMU's 2011 Relay For Life committeeMore than 750 SMU community members and 45 teams will walk all night to raise money and awareness for cancer research as the University marks the official start of its centennial celebration.

The 2011 Relay For Life of SMU takes place 5:30 p.m. Friday to 5:30 a.m. Saturday, April 15-16, on Bishop Boulevard. Funds raised will benefit the American Cancer Society.

This year’s event takes place during the University’s inaugural Founders’ Day Weekend, and the scheduling has shone an additional spotlight on the Relay, says Bretton Keating, 2011 Relay co-chair. “We have seen an increase in interest as a result of the Founders’ Day festivities, and we certainly hope to attract more attention from Founders’ Day attendees on campus Friday,” she says.

The Relay For Life committee also made changes in team structure for the event. Previously capped at a maximum of 15 members each, this year’s teams can have as many participants as they wish.

As a result, the 2011 Relay will features teams of more than 50 members, Keating says. “This has helped us succeed in attracting participation from all areas of campus,” she says. “And we are thrilled to have noticed increased diversity among those who have registered – including teams of students, alumni, SMU staff members and greek organizations.”

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 organizers plan to raise $108,000 during the 2010-11 school year.

Live entertainment starts at 4 p.m. and includes the SAE Band, Trebel Creek, All Funk Radio Show, Tiffany Houghton, and SMU singer/musician Mario Quinones, as well as magic by Trigg. In addition, a variety of games and giveaways will keep both walkers and spectators engaged until the early hours of Saturday morning.

An opening ceremony on Friday will honor survivors who have battled cancer. During the Relay, organizers will give SMU-themed prizes to random walkers every 100 minutes to celebrate the University’s centennial.

It’s not too late to donate or to take part. Advance online registration is available at the Relay For Life of SMU homepage.

In addition, Relay registration will be available at the event. Spectators and participants may also purchase luminarias to honor or remember loved ones.

For more information, contact Bretton Keating or Kayla Klingseisen at

(Above, SMU’s 2011 Relay For Life committee.)

> Visit the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life homepage