Inaugural Relay For Life Event Exceeds Expectations
by Devany Severin , student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
The inaugural All University Baylor Relay for Life exceeded expectations two weeks ago, raising more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS). The all-night event began at 7 p.m. Friday, April 11 and lasted until 7 a.m., Saturday, April 12, on the Baylor Sciences Building intramural fields.
Last year, more than 4,000 Relay events around the country raised more than $400 million for cancer research and patient services funded by the ACS.
Zeta Tau Alpha, Baylor University Medical Ethics Discussion Society (BU MEDS) and Alpha Phi Omega organized and planned the event, along with a 34-member student committee.
The student organizations and committee first introduced the Baylor Relay for Life to the Baylor community on Tuesday, Feb. 12, with a kick-off event held during Dr Pepper Hour in Barfield Drawing Room. Attendees of the kick-off event visited various booths and were encouraged to sign up for teams during the following months.
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. To achieve their goal, the committee chose the theme "Bear Down: All Paws for a Cure" to encourage the Baylor community to unite for the fight against cancer. The student committee made presentations to departments and organizations across campus to help spread the mission of the ACS.
The theme proved successful because a day before the Relay, Baylor had raised more than $48,000 with 57 teams and 750 people participating. By the end of the event nearly $100,000 was raised.
"Coach Mulkey helped put us over the top," said Martin Hechanova, event chair of the Baylor Relay for Life student committee.
Kim Mulkey, head coach of the Lady Bears 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 Hechanova. The event concluded with 800 registered participants, 58 registered teams, and more than $100,000 raised.
"The money raised well surpassed our original goals for the event," said Hechanova. "We are very excited about these numbers, especially as we watch the dollar amount continue to grow." The student committee will continue to receive donations throughout this week.
Relay For Life was founded in 1985 by Dr. Gordy Klatt, a surgeon in Tacoma, Wash. Glatt ran 83 miles in 24 hours to raise $27,000 for his local American Cancer Society office. Later, Glatt formed a committee to organize a 24-hour relay event that would raise even more money to fight cancer. In 1986, the relay event, known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer, raised more than $33,000.