March 27, 2014
DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s Relay For Life team won first place among the top 25 collegiate relay teams by raising more than $29,000 in pledges in a 72-hour fundraising event to benefit the American Cancer Society.
Following up on the pledges, SMU will hold its 11th annual Relay For Life walk-and-run event from noon-midnight Saturday, April 5. To participate or donate, visit relayforlife.org or the SMU Relay For Life Facebook page.
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is designed to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local campus, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. SMU won the #1 Relay Challenge March 3-5, where the top 25 collegiate relay teams from 2013 competed in an online challenge to see who could raise the most Relay for Life pledge money in a 72-hour period.
“The campus-wide effort behind our victory in the #1 Relay competition was truly humbling,” said Liz Blumberg, SMU Relay For Life Event Chair. “We could not be more proud of the SMU community and the compassion, commitment and generosity displayed over a whirlwind 72 hours.”
SMU Relay For Life took top honors after defeating defending champion Virginia Tech by a more than $7,000 margin by combining social media outreach, phone campaigns and emailing. The University of Georgia came in second and Virginia Tech placed third.
SMU Relay For Life festivities kick off at noon Saturday, April 5, with an opening ceremony followed by a survivors and caregivers lap at 12:15 p.m. Lanterns will be lit ay 8:30 p.m. in memory of or to honor a person with cancer, with each luminaria personalized with a name, photo, message or drawing. Luminarias can be purchased prior to the event for $10.
Closing ceremonies will take place at 11:30 p.m.
Relay for Life began in Tacoma, Wash., with the initiative of one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt. In May 1985 he ran a track for 24 hours and, with the support of his friends, family and the community, raised $27,000. Relay for Life is now the largest nonprofit activity in the world. It takes place in more than 20 countries and has raised more than $4 billion to fight cancer.
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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.