March 27, 2008

Case Western Reserve University to host first Relay For Life event

Students organize 18-hour "festival" to raise awareness and funds for cancer research

Relay For Life Logo

Case Western Reserve University will host its first Relay For Life fundraiser Friday, April 18, to benefit cancer education and research and honor those who have fought or are still fighting the disease.

The student-initiated 18-hour event begins at 6 p.m. April 18 and continues until noon the next day on-campus at Case Field, located in the heart of the North Residential Village at East 115th Street in Cleveland.

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's national signature activity, bringing together teams of families and friends from the university as well as local companies, schools, clubs and organizations in an effort to raise funds to save lives, help those touched by cancer and empower people to fight back against this disease. With the money raised at Relay, the American Cancer Society is working toward an important goal—a future without cancer.

Throughout the event, team members take turns walking the track while enjoying a full list of activities, including live entertainment, music, food, games and contests.

"The awesome thing about Relay For Life is that it brings communities together and everyone is invited!" said first-year medical student Elizabeth Kiracofe, the event chair. "It's also an awareness raiser as much as it is a fundraiser. The American Cancer Society has many different programs available and Relay for Life is a great way to raise awareness about these services."

In addition to raising awareness, Relay For Life is a life-changing experience that celebrates the lives of those who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost and fights back against a disease that takes too much. The event begins with its signature cancer survivors lap and celebration, with those who have beaten the disease walk or wheelchair a lap around the track. Later in the evening, there will be a ceremony lighting luminarias which line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.

"Unfortunately, cancer is something that touches each person's life in some way," said Christa Wheeler, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering and the event's public relations chair. "Relay for Life honors each person who has been touched by the disease while raising money for much needed cancer research, education and patient services, including opportunities available to survivors right here in Northeast Ohio."

To date, over 30 teams have registered to participate in Relay For Life, but more are encouraged to sign up to help achieve the organizers' goal of raising $30,000. The event is open to the entire campus as well as the surrounding communities.

All donations made to American Cancer Society Relay For Life fund research to find a cure for cancer, education efforts focused on preventing cancer and detecting it early, advocacy to affect public policy change surrounding cancer issues, and services to help cancer survivors and their families make it through their journey.

For more information about how to form a team or become involved as a volunteer, contact Relay for Life at Case Western Reserve University at or visit the event Web site. The Northeast Ohio chapter of the American Cancer Society can be reached at (800) ACS-OHIO (227-6446) ex. 1201.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1.800.ACS.2345 or visit

Relay For Life links and resources

For more information contact Jason Tirotta, 216.368.6890.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 27, 2008 11:40 AM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Community Outreach, Events, HeadlinesMain, Healthcare, Provost Initiatives, news

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.