On Friday, March 24, Lipscomb students and community members joined together in Allen Arena to fight back against cancer for the fifth annual Relay for Life event. The night kicked off at 7 p.m. with an NFL theme: Kickoff for the Cure. Students committed to staying up for 24 hours to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
Lipscomb’s relay teams raised $25,622.92, which will not only support cancer research, but also help Nashville’s Hope Lodge provide free room and board for cancer patients and their caretakers who receive treatment in town.
Angela Sullivan, executive chair for Lipscomb’s annual Relay for Life, has been involved with this campus-uniting event for the past four years and says she’s honored to see the money they raise benefiting the community.
“Over the past five years, not only have we been able to honor students and staff who have fought or are fighting cancer, but we've also been able to see our money benefit at the Hope Lodge in Nashville,” Sullivan said. “These types of patient programs show just how vital Relay for Life is even within our own community, which is important when we have people in our community finding out they have cancer and may feel like they can't do anything.”
The night was filled with entertainment and various events to keep relay participants awake as well as continue to raise funds. Each year, every social club on campus sets up various fundraising booths to sell food and drinks, provides places for students to relax and play video games and even offers opportunities to pet dogs.
Other events throughout the night included live music, Bubble Ball, a Lip Sync Battle, Zumba and Yoga, as well as some other theme-related events.
While almost 90 percent of the fundraising occurs the night of the event, the initial planning and fundraising kicks off almost a year in advance. With 22 student committee members, six student executive committee members and an American Cancer Society staff representative the next year’s Relay for Life planning begins just days after the event is complete.
As a committee member for the past four years, Sullivan says her work for Relay holds a deep meaning in her life and has been more than fulfilling.
“It's my form of activism. I hate cancer. In the past year alone, it has continued to take people from my life,” Sullivan said. “Relay allows me to make a difference against something that feels so big and so powerful. I want every person affected by this disease to feel empowered that they can do something and that hope is always more powerful. Always.”
For more information, visit relay.acsevents.org.