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Funding Cancer Research One Step at a Time

UMass Lowell Relays for Life

UMass Lowell Relay for Life
Students are bringing Relay For Life to UMass Lowell to raise money for cancer research.

By Julia Gavin

Hundreds of people, months of planning, 12 hours and one track. On April 20, UMass Lowell will host the American Cancer Society fundraiser Relay for Life.

Participants organized by student Samantha Hamilton have brought Relay for Life to campus to raise money for local cancer research and service programs. From 5 p.m. on April 20 to 5 a.m. on April 21, nearly 300 participants on 34 teams will take turns walking the Cushing Field track. 

Dan Grealish, chair of the entertainment committee, has been working with Hamilton, the other student organizers and the Office of Student Activities to book bands and plan activities that will make the event fun and meaningful for everyone. 

"It's a great cause and truly makes an impact on survivors who are going through such a difficult time in their lives," says Grealish. "I would love to see as many survivors as possible at the event. That would create so much joy to know that this group is making an impact on their lives and those of many other patients." 

With almost $19,000 of their $50,000 goal raised, the organizers are redoubling their efforts to recruit more donors. On April 6, from 8 p.m. to midnight, Dance for Life will take place at Cumnock Hall. Danielle Mello, an organizer of the event, says that the dance party and cancer awareness event will donate all of its proceeds to Relay for Life. Tickets at the door will be $3 for students and $5 for the public.

Young Donors the Future of Philanthropy

"While donations to the American Cancer Society have slowed in recent years, money raised at the 467 college relays across the nation are on the rise, meaning that our generation sees the importance of giving back," says Hamilton.

While fundraising is important to the organizers, just bringing their community together in support of a good cause is the main goal of the UMass Lowell Relay for Life.

"We want to see cancer wiped out for future generations," says Grealish. "As for now, we just hope to get as many people out to the event enjoying and educating themselves."

For more information on the event or to donate, please visit the official UMass Lowell Relay for Life website.