Rider’s largest student-run event, Relay for Life 2011 will begin Saturday, March 26, at 5 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center on the Lawrenceville campus.

To give up one night, to give a donation, and to give back to the entire world is only a part of what Rider’s Relay for Life is all about. Established at Rider two years ago by Heather Fischler ’10, Relay for Life has since become the biggest student-run event on the Lawrenceville campus and one of the largest such events in the nation.

The 2011 Relay for Life event will begin Saturday, March 26, at 5 p.m. in the Rider University Student Recreation Center. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Junior Psychology major Lindsay Galbraith replaces Fischler as this year’s Relay for Life coordinator and hopes to make this years event even bigger than the last.

“In our first two years, Rider’s Relay for Life was crowned the Top Performing College Relay in New Jersey, as student teams raised more than $100,000,” Galbraith said “Rider has made some big noise in the eastern division of the American Cancer Society,” says Galbraith.

The American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event, Relay for Life witnesses teams of people camping out at a designated local school, park or fairground, and taking turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Symbolic of the idea that “cancer never sleeps,” Relays are held overnight and typically last up to 24 hours.

Relay for Life gives everyone in a community a chance to participate in a truly remarkable cause. In doing so, participants have a chance to remember loved ones who have lost the battle to cancer, support those who are fighting it now, and celebrate those who have conquered it.

Teams will be organized and entered by many Rider student organizations, including sports teams, Greek chapters, clubs, honor societies and individuals. Each entry conceives a team name and shirt representing their contribution to the fight. Fifty-three student teams have registered for the race so far. With the support of the student body, individuals from beyond the immediate Rider community attend the event while cancer survivors are celebrated.

In the past, Rider’s event has included live bands, a disc jockey, and a relay pageant. Hundreds of glow sticks were placed in bags around the track in a moving ceremony to honor cancer survivors as well as friends and family members lost to the disease. 

“One of my focuses for this year’s event is the “Heroes of Hope” – our survivors,” said Galbraith, who added that Relay for Life 2010 hosted approximately 30 survivors. “These are the people who fought back against cancer and won, representing everything this event stands for. As I see all the purple shirts at Relay signifying the survivors, I’m reminded why I do this event.  We, at Rider have made some big strides against this disease in these past two years, but we need to continue to fight even harder.”

To join the fight, please visit Relayforlife.org/rideruniversity or contact Lindsay Galbraith at galbraithl@rider.edu.

“I am big on traditions and love Relay for Life,” said Galbraith. “But one day, I hope we have a different Relay for Life. We won’t be here to fight cancer, but to celebrate a cure.”