Annual Rider event benefitting cancer research hits 10-year milestone

This year's Relay for Life raised more than $47,000 for the American Cancer Society
Rachel Stengel '14

Rider University's annual Relay for Life event celebrated its 10th year as a campus tradition this year and raised more than $47,000 for the American Cancer Society.

As cancer never sleeps, Relay for Life is an all-night fundraiser where teams and individuals gather together to participate in an evening of activities and performances to raise awareness and funds to combat cancer.

"Relay for Life has become such an important tradition at Rider over the past decade," says Director of Service & Civic Engagement Joan Liptrot. "Each year, the students bring so much passion and enthusiasm to make the event a success. Most people know someone who has been affected by cancer so the event resonates with a lot of people. They want to make a difference by fighting against one of the most prevalent diseases."

This year's event, themed "Surfing for a Cure," encouraged students to showcase their beach-themed attire, accessories and decor. In addition to teams and individuals raising money prior to the March event, the evening hosts a variety of fundraising opportunities such as raffle items and a game called "Jail," where participants could pay for someone to be placed in a makeshift jail; in order to be broken out of jail, someone would have to pay double the original amount.

Other events included dance and vocal performances from Rider students and student groups, a dodgeball game, a yoga class, hair donations, a dance party, karaoke, a wing-eating contest and more.

One of Relay for Life's signature events is the luminaria ceremony. Participants purchase a luminaria bag to decorate in honor of a loved one who has been touched by cancer and the bags line the track throughout the event. During the ceremony, the lights are turned off and the luminaria bags glow as participants take a lap in honor of their loved ones.

Relay for Life began in 1985 after Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The idea grew and the following year, 19 teams took part in the first official Relay For Life event at the Stadium Bowl in Tacoma, Wash., raising $33,000. Relay for Life is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight every cancer in every community. Each year, more than four million participants rally to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to fight back.

Fundraising for Relay will continue throughout the academic year. To donate, visit Rider's Relay for Life page here.