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04-04-2011


University of the Cumberlands hosts Inaugural Relay for Life

 


Current cancer survivors in attendance kicked the night off by walking the first lap.

Williamsburg, Ky. - University of the Cumberlands hosted its Inaugural Relay for Life on Friday, March 25. Participants were there from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. the next morning, celebrating cancer survivors who were there and providing hope for all future patients who will benefit from the money raised. All the proceeds from this event will go towards cancer research and programs of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The initial goal for this Relay for Life event was to raise around $1,500, but when all was over participants had raised well over $10,000, far exceeding expectations.

 


Throughout the night activities were taking place for teams to participate in to collect points and to fundraise for the cause.

All facets of the university were well represented as many from administrative and academic departments, sports teams and the student body attended the event to support Relay for Life. Everyone was eager to participate or donate money to help those who need it most.

“It was a great opportunity as a student to donate my time to an organization that is helping to fight cancer,” said Terry Bingham, from Corbin, Ky. €It was a big success, as a campus we raised over $10,000, and my favorite part was cheering on the cancer survivors as they began the ceremony by walking the first lap.”

One of the more touching moments of the night came at around 9:30 p.m. with the lighting of the luminaries that were bought in remembrance of someone who lost their life to cancer. Participants walked one lap in total silence, holding their luminaries, in honor of those gone.

This especially impacted Bo Kidd, assistant director of the sports information department, who bought four separate luminaries. €My family throughout the years has been impacted heavily by multiple types of cancer,” said Kidd. €From my great grandparents to my uncle all the way down to my first cousin, cancer has brought my family even closer unfortunately through tragedy. Some people may see $20 as a lot of money to spend on four candles, but I see it as a miniscule contribution to hopefully keep tragedy out of the lives of many other families. I can only hope that one day, hopefully in my lifetime, I can see that cure found and used to its fullest extent.”

Throughout the night activities were taking place for teams to participate in to collect points with 1st place earning 5 points, 2nd place earning 3 points, and 3rd place earning 1 point.

One activity was the Miss UC Relay that was a huge success. In 1st place was the Kleist Knights led by the reigning Miss UC for Life, Ben Clayton, of Princeton, Ky., followed by the women’s wrestling team coming in 2nd and Baptist Campus Ministries coming in 3rd.

The overall activities winners at the end of the night were participants with Baptist Campus Ministries, who were awarded certificates and a check for $100, to be donated in their name to the ACS. In 2nd was the Kleist Knights who will have a $50 check in their name donated to ACS.

“I felt that there was a lot of participation from all types of people from the college and I was excited to see the support for such a good cause,” said intramural graduate assistant Ryan Bennett. €I have family members and friends who have either fought the battle or are still battling cancer and I know they appreciate everyone who gives their time at Relay for Life.”

In fundraising, the Human Resources team was able to raise the most, with a total of $1,820.97, and earned the right to have a $100 check in their name sent to ACS. Coming in 2nd was the Hutton School of Business (HSB) Team that raised $1,480.57 and will have a $50 dollar check in their name sent to ACS.

One of the biggest contests of the night was the Theme Contest that decided what the theme for next year’s Relay for Life would be. The winner was team Star Light, Star Bright and that is what the new theme will be. For winning, the group will have a $100 check in their name donated to ACS. Coming in 2nd was the Kleist Knights who will have another $50 dollar check in their name sent to ACS.

“I think the relay went really well as we surpassed the goal for the total money raised,” said event coordinator Agnes Brown. €I want to say thanks to all for their hard work, effort, and participation from everyone at the college for the success of the event that will continue for many years to come.”

The Relay for Life event was especially heartwarming for head softball coach Angie Dean and one of her softball players, Lindsey Meadors from Lancaster, Ky. Last summer, Meadors was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is the exact same thing Coach Dean was diagnosed with at an early age as well. €Getting involved today brings back memories,” said Dean. €Even though it was me with this, it affected my whole family and everyone around me.”

Currently, Dean has been cancer free for many years and Lindsey’s cancer is in remission. Lindsey was very excited about the Relay for Life. €It’s awesome, it shows support from everyone in the community, my friends, my softball team that is here, my coach who is here, and it’s just awesome,” stated Meadors.

In the end the Relay for Life was able to raise $10,690.22 to go towards the American Cancer Society and will have an additional $450 dollars added on top of that from activity winners.

American Cancer Society Representative Brooke Cary had this letter of thanks to the University of the Cumberlands and all, who participated or helped to make the Relay for Life a hit, “On behalf of the American Cancer Society…I sincerely want to say a very heart-felt ‘THANK YOU!’ Thank you for allowing a Relay for Life event on your campus. Thank you to the University President and faculty for their support. Thank you to Agnes Brown for everything. Thank you for showing your support to Agnes. Thank you for taking your personal time to fundraise. Thank you for working so hard on your themes…they were great. Thank you for coming to Relay for Life. Thank you for the games, laughter and fellowship at the event. Thank you for opening your hearts during our luminaries’ ceremony. Thank you for staying for a few hours or all night at the Relay. Thank you for your kindness to me. Thank you for helping our cancer friends on their journey!!! Basically I just want to say THANK YOU.”

The Star Light, Star Bright Relay for Life event at University of the Cumberlands will be held next year in March, the first weekend after spring break.

For more information on how you can contribute to the ACS and Relay for Life events, visit www.relayforlife.org.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

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