Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Randolph to host Relay for Life community fundraiser

Randolph College students, faculty, and staff are coming together for an inspirational Relay for Life on campus this Sunday.

Randolph College will host Relay for Life from noon until 9 p.m. April 7.
Donate or get involved at RelayForLife.org/RandolphVA
The American Cancer Society Fundraiser allows the community to come together with cancer patients, survivors, and their friends to walk laps around the track and sell items to raise money for cancer research and assistance programs. The event will include fun activities including music performances, yoga, corn hole, scavenger hunts, dance contests, and more throughout the day.

“The festivities and true meaning of the event will inspire and energize the most sedentary of individuals to find strength they never knew they had in them,” said Carolyn Sarson, a physical education professor at Randolph. Sarson, a Relay for Life veteran, is leading in the fundraising efforts for Randolph’s Relay. “Coming together for such a great cause will remain as one of the most heartwarming and fulfilling experiences in my life,” she said.

“I wanted to give our community our own chance to change the world.”

–Sally Taylor ’15
Hosting a Relay for Life event at Randolph is a tedious process that has been almost a year in the making. Sally Taylor ‘15 attended another Relay for Life event in Lynchburg about a year ago, and that made her want to bring the event to Randolph. “While we do a lot of things together, I feel that we could do more in the Randolph community to support a higher cause,” said Taylor. “I wanted to give our community our own chance to change the world.”

She organized the program with faculty sponsor Kim Sheldon, Meredith Doughtery ‘15, and several other students. Other students have been forming teams and raising money for the American Cancer Society.

Some Relay for Life participants at Randolph have a very personal connection to cancer. Sarson said she lost her father to multiple myeloma just six months after her first Relay for Life in 2001. “Seeing my best friend and most important person in my life struggle bravely and with quiet strength empowered me to do something more so that others did not have to struggle through such a horrible disease,” said Sarson.

Marisa Mendez ’13, a member of the “Glitter Queens” team who leads the student body in fundraising, had a cousin who died after a battle with colon cancer last year. “I want to honor her memory and help raise money for research,” Mendez said. “I like the community that these kinds of events bring because many people there have experienced what you have and understand what you, or your family, has gone through. It's comforting.”

Sarson and Mendez are just two of the many participants who have direct ties with the mission of the American Cancer Society. Special recognition including a survivor lap and a luminaria ceremony will be held throughout the event to commemorate those who have fought the battle with cancer.

“This is something we would love to keep going, so we need the support of everyone in our Randolph community,” Taylor said.

Randolph’s relay for life will begin Sunday, April 7th, at the Randolph College track from noon until 9:00 p.m. To join or donate, visit RelayForLife.org/RandolphVA. Any questions can be directed to Taylor at srtaylor@randolphcollege.edu.