FDU Colleges Against Cancer organizes Relay for Life event

Sarena Gerard

Staff Writer

 

Colleges Against Cancer, a student-run organization on the Fairleigh Dickinson University Florham Campus, seeks to bring cancer awareness to the community and collect donations for cancer research.

On Tuesday, April 11, students gathered on the Library Lawn to support and promote awareness for cancer-related illnesses through the organization’s beach-themed Relay for Life event.

President Ashley Krushinski said that the event is one of the biggest of the semester, during which money is raised from the FDU community, families and local businesses.

“Relay for Life is a unique fundraising night where students come together and walk all night for a cause, raising money for The American Cancer Society and remembering loved ones and thosewho are currently in treatment or who have overcome cancer,” Krushinski said. “The money raised goes towards furthering cancer research.”

Several tables with different items lined the lawn Tuesday night.

Krushinski said that each table had raised over $100 in order to participate. Organizations that had tables included the Student Government Association, Kappa Sigma fraternity and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

“Other clubs and organizations that had raised money and participated had been Theta Phi Alpha, Lambda Theta Phi Latin fraternity, the Science Club, Pay it Forward, Phi Sigma Sigma and the Fairleigh Dance Project,” said Krushinski.

“Many members from other organizations and clubs also showed up at the event.”

The event had several smaller showcases, including Zumba, a frozen T-shirt contest, a mummy wrap, limbo and different types of foods and drinks.

Krushinski said the Florham Programming Committee sponsored the event and provided a DJ.

Krushinski said the event required a lot of work, and that there were some obstacles that made it more difficult.

“I had begun planning this event in January. Over break, I began reaching out to the American Cancer Society and tried to get in touch with our representative who helps us do Relay every year, but when we returned to school, we learned that we would not be receiving a representative from the American Cancer Society due to changes in their policies,” said Krushinski.

“Only schools who raise over $20,000 can receive a representative. Therefore, we were planning this entire event by ourselves.”

Krushinski continued, “As the president, I played a huge role in the planning process, and so did the E-Board and members of Colleges Against Cancer.

“I worked on getting the event cleared, donations and supplies, while the club worked on specific events and ideas that would take place at the event. It was a lot of work, but in the end it all came together!”

The event was well received by students on campus because of its fun atmosphere.

“That was the most fun I had in a while,” said Theta Phi Alpha member Lauren Shields. “I don’t remember the last time I actually had fun and just kicked around a ball.”

Student Anthony Trusso walked around with a glow stick from one table and a drink from another. “This is a great cause, a great evening for the event, and a great time,” he said.

Krushinski said that the message of the event was spread during the opening ceremony to show students that by coming together and donating, they can make a difference.

“Students were introduced to a luminaria,” said Krushinski.

“Many students who had participated had personally been affected by cancer in their family, which was reflected when we had done the luminaria ceremony, honoring loved ones who are currently battling cancer, and those who have unfortunately passed away.”

Students also watched the Fairleigh Dance Project perform a dance that enhanced awareness of breast cancer through contemporary dance.

Kaitlyn Esposito, president and founder of the Fairleigh Dance Project, said that the piece the team performed was for Jennifer Noon, Fairleigh Dickinson’s associate athletic director.

“I met with [Noon] a few weeks prior to record her speaking about her breast cancer journey,” said Esposito.

For more information on Colleges Against Cancer, follow @FDUCAC on Instagram.

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