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Three cheers for Relay of Northeastern

Photo courtesy of Relay For Life of Northeastern University.

Relay For Life of Northeastern University will hold an event on Centennial Common on Friday morning to celebrate its past fundraising success and to inspire even more participation in the global, annual event this coming year. Northeastern’s student-run Relay chapter recently learned that its fundraising total for the past year was the most of any collegiate event in New England and was the third highest of any collegiate Relay nationwide. Relay For Life of Northeastern posted a YouTube video on Thursday announcing the news.

Relay For Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk to support and increase awareness for the American Cancer Society. Teams of participants camp out around a track, and team members take turns walking around the track for between 12 and 24 hours. Supporters also cheer on the participants at these events, which also feature food, games, and other activities.

Thousands of Relay events are held annually in communities and on college campuses worldwide. While each is unique, they all include three commonalities: participating cancer survivors take the first lap, a luminaria ceremony is held to remember those who have died, and a call is made for participants to pledge to take action throughout the year in the battle against cancer.

Relay For Life of Northeastern University holds its annual event at Matthews Arena; in 2014, there were 2,750 total Relay participants comprising teams of Northeastern students, faculty, and staff who combined raised more than $246,000.

Relay For Life of Northeastern planted 1,600 purple flags in the shape of a “3”—to symbolize the 1,600 people who lose their fight to cancer each day in the U.S. alone—early Friday morning on Centennial Common, and starting at 11 a.m., the group will hold an event on Centennial encouraging new participants to sign up while also giving away candy and other prizes. The group has left subtle clues across campus over the past few days. Group members have left chalk messages on major walkways, held a Three Musketeers bar giveaway, and even arranged for a lit up “3” to appear in the Ryder Hall window after dark.

2014 marked the fifth year for Relay For Life of Northeastern University, and the number of participants has increased each year, according to Marc Thomas, E’16, the Northeastern event’s co-chair on the Relay For Life of Northeastern committee. Next year’s Relay of Northeastern will take place Friday, March 20, 2015. Though the event is student-run, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate and Thomas said the goal is to sign up even more members of the Northeastern community this year.

“By participating in Relay For Life, the Northeastern community bands together to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those who have passed, and fight back against the disease,” said Thomas, a fourth-year electrical engineering major. “The Northeastern community’s support has been phenomenal, and we know we can keep growing and have even greater success in the future.”

All students, faculty, and staff are invited to sign up for Relay by visiting RelayForLife.org/neu.

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