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Baylor's Big Give

May 27, 2008

Relay For Life exceeds expectations

The inaugural All University Baylor Relay for Life exceeded expectations this April, raising more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Zeta Tau Alpha, Baylor University Medical Ethics Discussion Society (BU MEDS) and Alpha Phi Omega organized and planned the all-night event, along with a 34-member student committee.

Last fall the committee and event hosts set a goal to sign up 35 teams, and the American Cancer Society challenged Baylor to raise $25,000. The committee chose the theme "Bear Down: All Paws for a Cure" to encourage the Baylor community to unite for the fight against cancer.

Around 800 registered participants on 58 teams helped raise more than $100,000, well surpassing the goals set for the event.

Kim Mulkey, head coach of the Lady Bear basketball team, arrived at 6 a.m. to lead a "Fight Back" pep rally for the event. Mulkey donated funds to push the total to more than $100,000, said Coppell senior Martin Hechanova, event chair of the Baylor Relay for Life student committee.

Students come Alive for friend

It's amazing what Baylor students can accomplish in a little more than a semester. When a friend confided to them that he was seriously considering suicide, a group of Baylor students decided to show him life was worth living. They started a Facebook group in November, making a pact that if a quarter million people signed on, they would ride bicycles to Alaska to promote suicide prevention awareness. Just two weeks later, 250,000 people had joined the group.

The students' group is now an official non-profit organization called the Alive Campaign, and has gained even more supporters and sponsors for their incredible journey. On May 15, senior Nathan Lloyd and juniors Justin Brown, Alyson Erikson, Andi Nakasone and Kyle Ferguson began the 4,312-mile, 72-day journey from Waco to Anchorage, Alaska. For more info about these remarkable students, visit www.alivecampaign.org.

Bearathon breaks record

Student Foundation sponsored the sixth annual Bearathon, a half-marathon through campus and Cameron Park, in March. The 500-runner event raised $17,000 for the new Bearathon Endowed Student Foundation Scholarship, which the race will begin funding each year, said Chandra Ford, BBA '06, the Troy and Betty Mays Director of Student Foundation. In addition to that sum, this year the student group distributed a record-breaking $240,000 in scholarships ($2,000 each) to 120 deserving students.

Steppin' Out serves the community

Approximately 2,500 students gave back to the community though Steppin' Out in April, a biannual Baylor tradition since 1985. Volunteers for the one-day service project cleaned, painted and landscaped at churches, homes, the Waco Family Abuse Center, Fuzzy Friends Animal Shelter and Cameron Park.

This semester, Steppin' Out coincided with the Keep Texas Beautiful-sponsored Don't Mess with Texas Trash Off, which is the state's largest one-day clean-up event.

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