Carnival for a Cure raises over $19,000 to fight cancer

Relay for Life event raises funds, increases awareness about cancer

Alison Murtagh

Washington and Lee’s Relay for Life Committee raised over $19,000 this year for the American Cancer Society. The committee hosted its annual Relay for Life event, this year known as “Carnival for a Cure,” on Friday, March 25 on the Cannan Green.

Students involved in the club have worked all year in preparation for the main event. Members of the community were invited to campus to participate in various carnival games and activities, all in hopes of raising money for the American Cancer Society and spreading awareness about the disease.

Marielle Lafaire, ’16, worked to organize the event. According to Lafaire, the committee raised $19,300 going into Carnival for a Cure. The organization hopes to reach their goal of $30,000 by the end of the year.

“[Fundraising] always starts off a little bit slow in the beginning of the year, it’s hard to really rally support when the actual date of the event is so far in advance,” Lafaire said. “But we did a great job of having consistent fundraisers throughout the year and also spreading advocacy.”

The event featured various student-run activities including a cupcake decorating contest, Zumba class, Yoga class and performances by Southern Comfort and Jubilee. To promote the Carnival theme, a cotton candy machine and various food stations were set up around Cannan Green.

“We’re really happy with where we are, and we’re really excited,” Lafaire said leading up to the event. “We’re very positive going into tonight—we’ve done a lot of publicity both with our campus, and with the law school, and with the community. We’re hoping to have a great range of people at our event.”

Students reached out to local members of the community to participate in the Survivor’s Lap. Cancer survivors were encouraged to take the first lap around the track at the beginning of the event.

Katie Gardner, ‘17, joined the organization due to the impact cancer has had on her family.

“I joined Relay for Life because my mom passed away from Breast Cancer when I was two years old,” Gardner said. “I am so proud of all the awesome work W&L Relay for Life has done. I think we’ve raised an incredible amount of money for a small liberal arts college. We are a great force on campus.”

Kathryn Young, ‘16, is a member of the committee.

“I wanted to be involved with a meaningful cause and I know that cancer affects a whole lot of people in so many different ways,” Young said. “I just think that we should end the fight for cancer, for good.”

This past Thursday, committee members participated in “Storm the Dorms” and went to freshman dorms, Gaines and Graham-Lees, to put up door hangers and spread publicity about the event. Members collected spare change from students to donate to the American Cancer Society.

In October, the committee hosted a kickball tournament to raise money. In November, they organized a 5k for the local community.