Tables and tents filled the Boulevard Friday as SMU celebrated its tenth annual Relay for Life.
The event raised approximately $136,000 benefitting the American Cancer Society.
“This event is important because many of us have friends and family who have been affected by cancer and the money we raise at Relay can fund life-saving research,” student Greer Hindle said.
While most fundraising occurred prior to the event, each team had a creative way of raising money at the event as well.
Many teams sold treats, ranging from cupcakes to dessert popcorn.
One of the most creative fundraisers however, was SMU Student Body President-elect Ramon Trespalacios, who offered “deep conversations with Ramon” for a small donation.
Katie Schaible, Relay For Life’s director of teams committee, was the event’s top fundraiser, collecting over $20,000.
“I’ve gotten the opportunity this year to go into a hospital and speak with hospital researchers about how they’ve been funded by the American Cancer Society,” Schaible said.
“It’s cool to see how the money’s being used. Every dollar counts.”
While Relay for Life was primarily a fun event, there were also opportunities for reflection and remembrance.
Participants gathered around the main stage with candles during the luminaria ceremony where they listened to speakers who had been affected by cancer, including cancer survivor, Wade Brockway.
Brockway, who volunteers at several Relays, said the event makes a huge impact on the fight against cancer.
“If we get young people initiated in the fight against cancer, then they have their whole lives to fight back, and we can maximize our opportunity to make a difference,” Brockway said.
“Even though this is just one event at one university, these people make me believe we can end cancer.”
The ceremony was followed by a silent lap around the boulevard to commemorate those who have lost their fight to cancer.
“Relay for Life isn’t just for the person whose mom is a cancer survivor or had a brother fall to cancer,” Schaible said.
“Cancer is something that affects absolutely everyone. If you haven’t been directly affected yet, you can be almost certain that you will.”
If you’re interested in planning next year’s Relay for Life, contact Mary Bumpass at firstname.lastname@example.org.