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Beanpot rivalry boosts Relay For Life efforts

Starting Friday, the four schools that compete in the annual Beanpot Tournament— Northeastern University, Boston University, Boston College, and Harvard University—will compete for more than just glory on the ice.

The Relay For Life groups at each school will take part in the “Beanpot Faceoff,” a friendly competition to raise the most money for the American Cancer Society between Jan. 31 and Feb. 10.

“We’ve been telling team captains to reach out to their friends and team members and say, ‘This is the time to start fundraising,’” said Giana Manzi, S’15, co-chair of the Relay For Life at Northeastern. “Most people fundraise closer to the Relay. But we are telling them to start now.”

Manzi said she already knows of some Northeastern Relay teams that are waiting until the competition starts to donate money they already raised. As an extra fundraising incentive, Manzi said Northeastern would award prizes to the Relay team that donates the most money and the team that recruits the most members during the competition.

Relay For Life is a community-based fundraising event sponsored by the American Cancer Society in which teams walk as much as they can during a 24-hour period to raise money and awareness. Since its inception in the mid-1980s, Relay For Life has grown into a global movement that now includes more than 4 million people in more than 20 countries.

Northeastern’s Relay For Life team has set up a donation table in the Curry Student Center with buckets for each class. The class that donates the most money will be recognized at the Relay.

Donations will be accepted until the start of the Beanpot championship game, which is set for Monday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden. The winner will be announced at the game.

First played in 1952, the Beanpot Tournament is an annual hockey tournament between the four Boston-area schools. The Northeastern women’s team is the reigning Beanpot champion, having won its 16th tournament title last year. The Northeastern’s men’s team, which is currently ranked No. 10 in the nation, has claimed four Beanpot titles, the last coming in 1988.

Manzi said a Boston University student originally came up with the idea for the Relay For Life “Beanpot Faceoff,” and noted that the winning school will get a trophy. This year Northeastern’s Relay for Life starts Friday, March 21, at 6 p.m. at Matthews Arena and the theme for the event is “The Olympics.” As of Tuesday, 827 participants on 104 teams had raised about $31,000.

“Relay For Life at Northeastern has become such a huge event over the last few years,” Manzi said. “Everyone knows about it. It is just getting bigger each year.” Northeastern’s 2013 Relay For Life raised about $215,000 for the American Cancer Society, the seventh-highest amount raised by any collegiate relay last year.