Relay for Life, the campus event partially funded by Colleges Against Cancer, has gained in popularity and participation in the last four years at Juniata. Led by a committee of over 15 students and involving over 25 different teams, the event raised a staggering $25,693. Alicia Dahl, a senior from Hamburg, N.J. and Relay for Life Team Development Chair, answers some questions regarding this year’s highly successful event.
What was your position and responsibilities?
I was the Juniata Relay for Life Team Development Chair. Basically, I motivated and encouraged the team captains for our weekly meetings by creating team challenges to push the competitive side of fundraising. Last year I was the Relay event chair, and I am currently the Colleges Against Cancer President — the club that partially supports and funds Relay’s miscellaneous expenses.
What different types of planning went into this year’s event and how was different from other years?
Relay this year has really taken off. Last year we decided that we wanted a bigger committee so we expanded it to 22 people. This year was similar in that we were able to delegate the work and get more people involved–we had over 15 active members on the committee. We also started fundraising in the fall for this year’s event, something that I wish we could have done last year, and hope the committee continues for the years to come . Megan Russell and Jade Wronowski got fundraising kicked off in the fall and did a really great job.
What was your favorite part about Relay this year?
My favorite part was my position. Instead of overseeing the entire event, I was able to really focus and get involved with people and the teams and be really dedicated to encouraging and motivating them. It was really cool to see how many people got involved and I think pushing the teams helped to break the records that we did this year.
Why do you think Relay for Life is an important campus event?
I am a little biased being the CAC president, but I think that cancer impacts everybody. I think we all have our own stories but it’s something we all have in common. Not all stories are success stories and not all stories are all grief stores, but if you go up to someone on campus and ask about cancer they will have some response to it. I also think it helps people come together as a support system; I saw a lot of groups of friends hugging and supporting one another and I also saw a lot of people getting really excited about the challenges.
What led to this year being so succesful?
Well, first, fundraising in the fall, but it’s just grown as a campus event that if you’re not a part of it, then what are you doing that weekend? JAB sponsoring Springfest on the same weekend helps to make it a bigger event — they even gave away iPads. The expanded committee gave more opportunities for leadership and involvement–roles that are relatively easy to fill and people really end up giving their all.
~Joyce Eveleth ‘11, Juniata Online Journalist