Luminarias light Grace Hall as participants walk the survivor lap at Relay for Life on Friday, Mar. 27, 2015. The luminarias symbolize people fighting cancer, and the lap is dedicated to the memory of those lost in the fight against cancer. (Chris Barry/B&W Photo)

Relay for Life increases fundraising goal

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With more than 1,000 participants expected this year, 2016 is shaping up to be another big year for Relay for Life. The annual event is taking place April 1 from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Grace Hall. Yara Hanna, ‘17, one of the event planners, said more than 700 participants have signed up so far.

Teams ranging from five people to entire Greek chapters walk, run or jog around the track, ideally for the duration of the event or however long a team feels comfortable. The idea is to get as many teams as possible to sign up to help reach this year’s fundraising goal of $75,000.

“All registration fees and money fund-raised prior to, during and after the event go to the American Cancer Society,” wrote event planner Hannah Street, ‘16, in an email. “(American Cancer Society) then uses these funds to sustain the many services they provide to people who have or had cancer and their caregivers.”

The services include offering cancer patients a free place to stay while they receive treatment at an out-of-town hospital, free rides to and from treatment and a 24/7 support line for those diagnosed with cancer.

Street said more than $50,000 has been raised so far. The Relay for Life team is confident they will reach their goal, as last year over 1,100 participants came out to show their support.

“My favorite thing about Relay is it really brings people together because it is one of those events that unites the Lehigh community,” event planner Danielle Klein, ‘17, said.

It costs $10 to register online and $20 at the door on the day of the event. Teams are responsible for providing a fundraising idea or contribution at the event site. Whether it simply be baked goods or candy, it is up to the team to help raise money at the event.

Social media has been a main source for spreading the word. Street encourages everyone interested in the event to check out the Colleges Against Cancer Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.

In addition, several popular restaurants are expected to help cater the event such as The Goosemen and Chipotle.

“Hopefully the event will inspire other people to continue on with the fight against cancer,” Street said.

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