About 700 students, faculty and staff members raised more than $39,000 for the American Cancer Society in the fifth annual SUNY Cortland Relay For Life on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the College's Lusk Field House.
This year's relay attracted 71 teams who walked laps for 12 hours in the field house located off Pashley Drive.
"We had a phenomenal group of participants this year," said event co-chair Marie Bieber, a senior psychology major from Conklin, N.Y. "It is amazing to see so many students from so many different places and backgrounds come together to fight for a common cause."
"This year's event really captured the "Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back!" model of Relay For Life," said Jillian Ladouceur, a 2007 SUNY Cortland graduate and director of college events for the Southern New York Regional Office of the American Cancer Society. "The student planning committee embraced the opportunity to engage their peers in celebrating survivors, remembering those we have lost to cancer, and most of all fighting back against this disease that is taking the lives and livelihoods of their loved ones. The students captured the essence of Relay For Life perfectly, and I believe they were more connected to the cause than ever. I am incredibly proud of the dedication and passion that my fellow Red Dragons have about finding a cure for this disease, and I look forward to seeing this event grow even more in the future."
Building on the work of the past four events, a 15-member student committee and campus advisor Nanette Pasquarello, Judicial Affairs Office, began planning the relay in September.
"The annual SUNY Cortland Relay For Life has become an important tradition on campus," said Pasquarello. "I participate to raise money for a cause near and dear to my heart. The event is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to come together to support those undergoing cancer treatment, celebrate cancer survivors and remember friends and family who have lost the battle. It is my privilege working with so many caring, enthusiastic and philanthropic college students."
This year's relay featured a variety of entertainment and fundraisers, including massages and ballpark food sales, wheelchair races, a peanut butter and jelly station, manicures and sports items sales.
Relays For Life are held on college campuses nationwide to raise money for cancer research, education and services. Donations may still be made to SUNY Cortland's Relay For Life until February through its Web site.
For more information about the College's Relay For Life, contact Cathy Smith in the Health Promotion Office at (607) 753-2066.