Dozens of ETSU students, volunteers and Relay for Life event coordinators gathered outside of the amphitheater on Wednesday to kick off registration for the annual Relay for Life fundraiser with a color war.
Relay for Life is one of the largest and most successful fundraisers that are working to end cancer.
“Our theme this year is ‘Paint your World Purple’,” said Jessica Poff, ETSU staff partner for Relay for Life. “Purple is our signature color because it recognizes all cancers, and it also serves as a symbol of hope.”
ETSU has held a Relay for Life event fundraiser for several years now, with this year’s event taking place on Friday, April 15, from 2 p.m.-2 a.m. in the mini dome. This is the first year that there has been a color war, it was held to celebrate registering for the event in April.
For the color war, participants dressed in white shirts and threw cups of colored cornstarch to celebrate the enthusiasm for this event that has so much hope for those whose lives are impacted by cancer.
“The color war is something new that was created to get people excited and talking about the event,” Kelsey-King Hook said, a lead organizer for ETSU Relay for Life. “I think that people are starting to understand the meaning and importance behind what Relay for Life can do for so many people.”
For Hook, the Relay for Life event presented her with an opportunity to bring awareness to how many lives cancer impacts, and also educate people about ways that they can help contribute to fundraising efforts that go directly toward the costs incurred by those battling this disease.
“The money we raise not only goes to cancer research, but it also goes to local patient’s programs and services,” Poff said. “We offer everything free of charge, regardless of someone’s income level.”
ETSU is currently one of five universities in the state that participate with Relay for Life. Fundraising wise, ETSU has trailed right behind Vanderbilt and University of Tennessee Knoxville in the past. However, Poff says that they have hopes to surpass their previous fundraising efforts and raise about $40,000 this year.
For students interested in participating with Relay for Life they can register by going to www.RelayForLife.org/ETSU. Students can register with a student organization, or they can register independently. There is a registration fee of $10, but starting on Jan.1 the cost will go up to $15 to register.
“We honestly have a lot of cancer survivors here on campus, and we want them to have a chance to share their stories,” said Poff. “It’s important to raise awareness and educate the public about the issues surrounding cancer research and treatment, but it’s also important to have a way to give people hope, which is one of our main goals.”