USI students sell baked goods at their "campsite" during Relay for Life for Vanderburgh Colleges held in the PAC.
Photo Credit: Kathy Jones, program advisor for Student Development Programs
Many people believe that the journey to eliminate cancer starts with a single step. Local college students, led by USI’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), took that step together last weekend at the annual Relay for Life of Vanderburgh Colleges.
The student organization set out to raise $20,000 to support the world's largest walk to end cancer and not only surpassed their fundraising goal, but also captured the Hope Trophy from the University of Evansville for the first time in the eight-year history of the event.
The Relay for Life event is a collaboration of efforts between USI and the University of Evansville. The Hope Trophy is awarded to the school that prevails in a friendly competition to see who can raise the most money for the American Cancer Society. The overall goal was for each school to secure $20,000 for a total of $40,000. USI reached their goal and the combined total for the two universities by the end of the night was $37,385, although donations will be accepted online through the end of August. CAC President Shari Sanders says this is the largest amount USI has ever raised at the event.
More than 500 student supporters of the fight against cancer rallied in the Physical Activities Center (PAC) at USI from 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6 to 6 a.m. Sunday, April 7. Fifty teams were assigned “campsite” areas in room 200 of the PAC, where they kept personal supplies such as food, water, and blankets. Many teams conducted small fundraisers by selling snacks and drinks or offering craft projects. Activities held throughout the evening included basketball, volleyball, cornhole, Twister, musical chairs, and inflatable jousting. A luminaria ceremony also was held outside after dark to give participants the opportunity to remember and honor loved ones who are currently fighting cancer or have lost their battles. During this emotional ceremony, the basketball courts were lined with small white bags containing glow sticks to illuminate the names of those afflicted by cancer.
“Our students were very involved in this incredible cause and organization,” said Christine Johnston, assistant program director for Student Wellness and advisor to USI’s Colleges Against Cancer. “They worked with the University of Evansville and our community partner, the American Cancer Society, for months in preparation for the fundraiser.”
Colleges Against Cancer provides cancer education and works to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society through events such as the Relay for Life of Vanderburgh Colleges.