Relay for Life teams needed at Tech on April 15

Cancer has become all too common these days. Last year alone, more than 33,000 people in Tennessee were diagnosed with cancer. Tech is part of a national collaboration of colleges that work together to fight cancer by helping raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society.

Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) has hundreds of chapters nationwide that host events year-round to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society on campus and in the community.

Every year, Tech hosts Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life is a community-based event designed to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember lost loved ones, and fight back against the disease.

This year, 20 teams have signed up to be a part of Tech’s Relay for Life, which takes place April 15. While many teams are affiliated with Greek Life, the Relay for Life committee would like people from all walks of life to be involved with Relay.

“In order to fight back against this ugly disease, we need all hands on deck!” Erin Osmak, Relay for Life special projects manager, said.

“Relay for Life is a party for a purpose,” Osmak explained. “The community comes together for a fundraising event that is fun and helps a great cause.”

Countless students have been affected by cancer, which leads them to helping with Relay for Life. Student organizations across campus have signed up for a team and have started fundraising efforts. The cost to sign up is $10.

Being a part of Relay for Life does not have to be time consuming. Participants are offered a variety of ways to raise funds. The American Cancer Society has revamped its website and taken advantage of social media in order to reach a wider audience. A participant can send donation letters by e-mail or ask for donations on Facebook.

“This year we have turned to technology in order to promote Relay for Life more effectively. Facebook and Twitter are widely used by the American Cancer Society for fundraising and awareness,” Julie Graham, Relay for Life chairperson of public relations explained. “The American Cancer Society has also come out with an iPhone application that participants can use to view their personal participation center from their phone.”

Reasons for participating in Relay for Life vary. Some people have been affected personally by cancer, while others have seen friends and family suffer the effects of cancer.

“Relay for Life has given me a great opportunity to help out in the cancer research efforts,” Robin Lynch, Relay for Life team member, said. “I relay for all the people I know who have been diagnosed with cancer.”

Will Snodgrass, Kappa Alpha Order president said, “I Relay at Tennessee Tech for my aunt who passed away in 2009, just four months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. To see her go from a healthy woman to being bed ridden in a few short months put life in perspective. I want to see cancer eliminated, so that others do not have to go through what my aunt went through.”

Osmak said, “Relay for Life is one day, one night, one university, and one fight. Cancer touches people of every background. One in two men and one in three women will hear the words, ‘you have cancer’ in their lifetime.

“Fundraising for the American Cancer Society does not just happen during Relay for Life. Students are persuaded to fundraise all year round in order to raise the most money for the American Cancer Society.”

To sign up a team for Relay for Life at Tech, visit www.relayforlife.org/tntech.