Survivors, students and superheroes joined together in sleeplessness Saturday night and Sunday morning in a nonstop 14-hour relay for cancer.
The fundraiser, called Relay for Life, collected $36,824 in donations to the American Cancer Societyâ€™s programs, patients and research, according to event organizers. Michelle Pearson, a senior biomedical sciences major and the relayâ€™s committee chairwoman, said money was still coming in as of Sunday afternoon.
CSU students have organized the annual event four times, and this yearâ€™s theme was superheroes. Pearson has been involved for two years, motivated by her personal experience with cancer.
â€œPersonally, I was diagnosed with brain cancer when I was in sixth grade,â€ she said. â€œIâ€™ve dealt with it and known family and friends who have passed away.â€
â€œItâ€™s hard to watch other people not make it. We all relay for hope.â€
The event took a year of planning and donations. In past years, there have been 600 to 700 participants, but this year there were 553.
â€œItâ€™s organized chaos,â€ Pearson said. â€œTeams switch off, but one person from each time has to be on the track at all times … but we keep people entertained.â€
Entertainment for the participants included other activities like Zumba, dodgeball and basketball tournaments, costume judging and even a drag show occurred throughout the night.
â€œWeâ€™re much more organized this year, but Iâ€™d like the turn out to be nicer,â€ Pearson said.
Atisha Morrison, freshman environmental health major has relayed for six years, but this year has been the most personal for her.
â€œMy (Resident Assistantâ€™s) father has six to nine months to live,â€ Morrison said. â€œMy RA is going to lose her father, so we decided to make a (relay) team.â€
Being from a small town in New Mexico, Morrison has only been to smaller relays. Attending the CSU relay with a few hundred participants has been a big step up for her.
â€œGetting involved is definitely important, even if cancer hasnâ€™t affected you personally just reaching out to people you know. You never know when your best friends dad or boyfriendâ€™s uncle is suffering,â€ Morrison said. â€œFamilies are going through this and they need support and just saying Iâ€™m here for you, what do you need.
â€œIâ€™m so honored that so many college students are out here instead of drinking on a Saturday night.â€
Students from the Deanâ€™s Student Leadership Council created a team and dressed as The Incredibles for their spring service event in support of two survivors on their council.
According to Audrey McMahon, a CSU junior business major, the council has been fundraising since October for the relay and raised $3,500.
â€œItâ€™s important to be involved because even if you donâ€™t have cancer, everyone in some way has been affected by cancer,â€ said Brian Stewart, a DSLC participant and junior business major. â€œWe get to have fun, bond, and make money.â€
Greek students, including those from Sigma Iota Epsilon, also relayed together as a team.
â€œ(Relay for Life) has obviously affected peoples lives and weâ€™re here to raise money and hopefully raise a cure,â€ said Tamlyn Grott, a junior accounting and finance major.
Collegian writer Bailey Constas can be reached at email@example.com.