World Cancer Day was Sunday Feb. 4, but Colleges Against Cancer celebrated two days early in order to kick-start the Relay for Life season.
CAC commenced their preparations for Relay with their first fundraiser on Thursday Feb. 1 and Friday Feb. 2.
During both days, members of CAC tabled in the MacVittie College Union for the “Cash Out or Call Out” event for the Spring Kick-Off—their first major fundraiser of the semester.
“Right now, we’re fundraising and we’re doing cash-outs and call-outs, so people can either donate money or sign up for relay,” psychology major sophomore Sam Kesel said. “If they don’t have money, they can call out someone on social media, and then that person can sign up for Relay.”
This is the first time the club is testing the call-out approach to their fundraiser, which is for their event that will be held on April 14.
Tabling with Kesel was English major sophomore Brittany Pratt. Both have been part of CAC for two semesters.
“I have a lot of family that’s been touched by cancer, and it seemed like the right thing to do—to get involved and help out,” Pratt said.
Other CAC members echoed the sense of personal relevance that Pratt expressed.
“My mom and my sister had [cancer] and I always did Relay at home, so I wanted to do it here,” Kesel said.
Although the club did not coordinate events with the actual World Cancer Day, the following week they will be tabling for their Virtual Survivor event.
“[It features] people who can’t necessarily come to our Relay, but are family and friends who had cancer and survived; they beat their battle. It’s so we can virtually have them here,” Pratt said.
Survivors who can come to Relay will also be honored.
“We plan a dinner for all the survivors that come to the event and give them luminaries to represent them,” Pratt said.
CAC’s goal this year is to raise $170,000 for the American Cancer Society, which is the organization that is affiliated with Relay for Life. As of Jan. 29, they have raised over $26,000—with two and a half months left to go.
Many other organizations on-campus participate and help with the Relay for Life fundraiser. For example, Alpha Chi Rho held their Deep Freeze event to raise money for the American Cancer Society, and the money they collected goes toward their Relay for Life team.
There are 74 teams participating at the Geneseo Relay for Life this year. All the teams account for 1,236 participants. This includes students, professors, members of the community and alumni.
“The mission is to raise enough money so that someday cancer won’t be a big deal to have,” Pratt said.
CAC’s Spring Kickoff for World Cancer week is only one example of Geneseo’s charitable spirit with regard to raising money for cancer research. This year’s Relay for Life is bound to be both a success and a beacon of hope.