By Courtney Cina
Youngstown State University students raised over $45,000 to help fight cancer and tripled their initial goal and benchmark performance from the previous year during Relay for Life at Farmers National Bank Field on April 6.
The university partnered with the American Cancer Society to host the event.
Leah Tekac, event leader and a junior finance major, said it was a day full of fundraising events and raffles to raise money for cancer patients.
“This Relay for Life differs from others that have happened in the Youngstown area. This relay is hosted by YSU,” Tekac said.
Since YSU Relay for Life was hosted by YSU students, each tent was organized by the students, along with activities and events.
Cancer survivors of the Mahoning Valley and volunteers walked around the track to raise money for the American Cancer Society, and Tekac said this year’s goal was $15,000. Weeks prior to the event, the initial goal was already reached at $38,000.
By the end of the event, YSU Relay for Life raised $46,000. Tekac said her team was overwhelmed by the donations and could not have asked for a better year.
“By next year, with the progress we’re making, our goal is to have the location of the relay in the Watts Center, due to space and not having to rely on the weather,” Tekac said.
“The turnout out for this event is beyond what I expected, and this is [the exact] reason volunteering has so many benefits,” Rachell Rottman, recruitment chair and a junior biology major, said.
Rottman said being a volunteer has many perks and once someone experiences an event that has given so much effort towards a cause like cancer, the reward is all that matters.
Event and entertainment wise, tents lined the track with multiple activities for volunteers to get involved.
Emma Potts, entertainment chair and a freshman nursing major, planned a successful day full of activities.
“We opened with the pre-event involving a DJ and getting volunteers acquainted, following the opening ceremony and first lap is for survivors and caregivers to be recognized, and after that the fun [began],” Potts said.
Entertainment included music, prizes, food and raffles.
Potts said with student organizations such as the Student Government Association and fraternities and sororities participating, the turnout was more than expected.
The American Cancer Society has fundraisers throughout out the year. To learn more, visit https://secure.acsevents.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=relay.