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 for details on donations and participation.

Written by Christina Voss