Geneseo held its ninth annual Relay for Life event on April 5, hosted by Geneseo’s Colleges Against Cancer and supported by the American Cancer Society. As in past years, attendance and fundraising records were shattered. This year, CAC set its fundraising goal at $100,000 dollars, up from last year’s goal of $81,000. The fundraising goal was met before the event even started, as it went into Saturday morning having already raised around $105,000. The final total came to $127,899, compared to the $93,000 final total from last year.
Relay for Life also saw a huge increase in attendance. CAC estimates around 2,000 people attended and participated in the fundraiser, which is up from the 1,200 people the previous year.
Vice President of Colleges Against Cancer senior Bridget Greene said that the group made an increased effort to push for better attendance and higher fundraising totals. Greene and her committee of 75 went about this by encouraging organizations to get involved.
“I took the initiative to go to all the fraternities this semester, just to talk to them about the event, because I know how much Relay affects Greeks here at Geneseo,” she said. “I wanted to be sure they know about all the ways they can get involved.”
“Lots of Greeks held fundraisers, such as [Phi Kappa Chi’s] poker night and [Sigma Nu Chi’s] knock out tournament. I believe Phi Kap raised around $500 that night, which is awesome,” she said. “It gave them ownership and made them feel more involved, so it wasn’t just like they were sitting around.”
CAC also reached out to sports teams, which is not something the organization has done in the past.
“We went to the hockey games, and they got involved for the first time ever. And we went to men’s and women’s basketball games and tried to start a ‘coaches against cancer’ initiative.” Greene said. Throughout the athletic contests, CAC held fundraisers, where parents could bet on which player would score the first goal, for instance.
This year, CAC also pushed for students and organizations to take advantage of the early registration. For students who registered before March 15, registration was only $10. Those who registered after had to pay the standard $20 fee.
To accommodate for increased attendance, CAC promoted the Relay for Life tailgate at 2:30 p.m. and opened the doors at 4:30 p.m. to prepare for attendees.
The massive surge in attendance did make for some issues, particularly with the Advocacy Beads initiative that the American Cancer Society was promoting.
“We wanted to give everyone a bead for every lap, but it was getting backed up between people trying to get beads and people trying to get in,” Greene said. “So we had to decide to cancel the beads to keep things moving. But it’s a good idea, and we’re looking at ways to make it more successful for next semester.”
As of now, CAC is wasting no time in beginning preparations for next year.
“Next [meeting], we’ll hold elections for next year’s committees, and then we start planning,” Greene said. “For next year, rumor is we’re planning to get $150,000, but we’re expecting to plateau soon. But we know we’ll still continue to raise a lot of money for Relay.”