GV’s College Against Cancer’s first annual Relay For Life recruitment week

GVSU Relay for Life 2013. Courtesy / gvsu.edu

GVSU Relay for Life 2013. Courtesy / gvsu.edu

Amanda Rogers

Sunday, Nov. 4 through Saturday, Nov. 10 marked Grand Valley State University’s College Against Cancer’s first ever recruitment week for their Relay for Life event.  

College Against Cancer is an organization that works with the American Cancer Society, and Relay For Life is an annual event that they coordinate in order to raise money for the organization. 

All of the money raised from the event will go toward the American Cancer Society in order to help fund research to find the cure to cancer. 

Alexis Velazquez, co-chair for team recruitment, said Relay For Life is an overnight event where teams can raise money and awareness for cancer.

“Recruitment week is more or less just a push to get teams to sign up earlier so that they can start fundraising earlier,” said Velazquez. 

On Thursday, Nov. 8, Colleges Against Cancer had a table set up in the Kirkhof Center with computers available to sign up on the spot. During the tabling event, they also had chocolate covered pretzels for sale as a way to raise money for the organization.

Recruitment week also included multiple contests in order to encourage students to sign up. The first contest was for every team who signed up during the week, and each team member received a free purple beanie from the American Cancer Society. The other competition for the week included an incentive for the team who had the most members join. 

“We really wanted to get teams to join earlier so that they have a lot of time to fundraise throughout the year,” Velazquez said. 

She said that the goal of the recruitment week was to get a lot more teams to join this year.

The Relay for Life event will take place at GVSU’s Fieldhouse on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. This year, the university has a donation goal of $100,000. 

With such a large donation goal, College Against Cancer needs their teams to start fundraising as soon as possible.

“We think people should get involved because everyone’s life has been affected by cancer in one way or another,” Velazquez said. “We want no one to have to deal with this alone, it is a great way to build community.”

The night of Relay for Life consists of various games and fundraisers to raise awareness about cancer. This year’s theme is safari, and the whole idea is to get wild for finding the cure for cancer. 

The night also includes an opening ceremony as well as the Luminaria ceremony, which honors those who have had cancer. 

“My favorite part of the night is the Luminaria ceremony,” said Co-Chair for Team Recruitment Megan Goerge. “All the lights are out in the Fieldhouse (Arena) and we have a silent lap in order to remember those who have lost their battle.”

Participants of Relay for Life stay up for one night because cancer doesn’t sleep, so they shouldn’t either.

“I love seeing the whole campus come together and fight cancer for a night,” Velazquez said.