Relay for Life on the verge of two million raised

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Relay for Life on the verge of two million raised

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Two thousand participants. Two thousand stories. Two million dollars. The running theme for Relay For Life 2016 is “2,000 strong, 2,000 stories,” and there is a lot more on the line for this year’s Relay For Life event than just a participant goal. If Relay For Life 2016 successfully raises its monetary goal of $175,000, Saint Louis University  Relay For Life will have successfully raised a total of two million dollars since the annual event began in 2004.

Team Development Executor Nick Eisenberg summed up the significance of this large and meaningful goal, stating “I think that it would be a huge step forward for Relay … To be a part of something like that, to raise two million dollars for cancer research and for those things, we always talk about how we want to make it mission focused, but that is such a cool thing to be a part of … Two million dollars is a lot of money and it is not over a very long period of time, so to have done it that quickly and to be someone who is in it for the long run, I think it would be pretty cool.”

All of the proceeds raised by Relay For Life are given to the American Cancer Society in order to fund a nationwide fight to put an end to cancer, but the proceeds also have a direct impact in the St. Louis community. Lauren Schweiss, SLU’s American Cancer Society Advisor, described how this money is utilized closer to campus. “Two million dollars, if you can imagine, does a lot for our local community. Right here in the community we have a Hope Lodge Facility, which is a place where cancer patients can stay for free for as long as they need, there is no time limit on that, while they are in cancer treatment. They can stay there with a caregiver or a friend or family member that is over 18. They are able to get shuttles to and from the hospitals where they are getting their treatments at and again that is absolutely free, so that is one of our things that we really take pride in that the money goes to in order to keep that place running 365 days a year.”

Not only is this an event to raise money for cancer research, but it is also a way to build community on campus. Eisenberg commented on what Relay offers first year students, “… I showed up and it was one of the coolest nights of my life. You are surrounded by sixteen hundred people, hopefully two thousand people that are all sharing in the same kind of thing … I think it is definitely the spirit of SLU.”  Eisenberg also mentioned how, while at events like Make a Difference Day, students are spread out across several different sites, at Relay for Life, the entire student body is all in the same place, making it “a great way to get involved and find a niche as a first year student.”

Relay for Life will take place at Hermann Stadium on April 16 and 17 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Participants can sign up at SLU Relay’s website.