Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Relay For Life Kickoff Event Energizes Fundraising Efforts

Purple and white balloons bannered the stairways of the Rafik B. Hariri Building atrium, and luminarias flanked Lohrfink Auditorium as speakers conveyed messages of hope and possibility in the fight against cancer at Sunday’s 2010 Relay For Life kickoff event.

Although registration and fundraising have been open since September, the kickoff event represents a launch in efforts to increase participation as Relay For Life quickly approaches. Relay For Life – an all-night event for which students fundraise throughout the year to raise money for the American Cancer Society – is in its fourth year at Georgetown and has raised over a million dollars since its debut at the university, according to Jenny Donley (COL ’10), a senior adviser for the event. Georgetown has hosted the highest-earning college Relay For Life event in the nation two years in a row. This year, the event will take place on April 16, and organizers have set a fundraising target of $800,000, almost twice as much as participants have raised in each of the past two years.

DJ Wise (COL ’13) received a standing ovation during the kickoff event after recounting his father’s fatal struggle with brain cancer. “Hope is all you have when you lose someone so close to you, and honestly it is all you really need,” Wise said.

“We have all been affected by cancer,” Wise said. “Although my story is personal, it is not solely unique, but rather strikingly similar to the stories and experiences you all have as reasons for why you Relay.”

V. Craig Jordan, scientific director at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center, discussed his role in the development of Tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug, and described the beginnings of his involvement with cancer research. When he was growing up, few people believed that cancer research held promise, he said.

“I really wanted to make a difference in cancer, but that wasn’t easy. Everybody said, `That is not what you want to do. Absolutely don’t have anything to do with cancer research. It’s hopeless,'” Jordan said.

Jordan added that it was his passion for chemistry and his persistent optimism that allowed him to develop what is now the standard drug for breast cancer therapy.

“You’ve made a commitment to really try to beat cancer, and we’re going to do this together,” Jordan said.

In an effort to put fundraising efforts into high gear during the 75 days leading up to the event, organizers are launching a campaign to raise $48,000 in 48 hours, they announced at the kickoff event. This year marks the first time that a rapid fundraising campaign has been launched months before the event, according to David Hammerman (MSB ’11), Georgetown Relay For Life fundraising chair and a staff writer for Hoya Sports.

“We want to get people in the mode to start fundraising and putting their efforts [toward] Relay and the next two months before we have the actual event,” Laura Fayer (COL ’11), one of the event’s co-chairs, said.

Georgetown participants have raised nearly $400,000 in each of the past two years, with nearly $100,000 of those contributions arriving in the final days of fundraising.

Organizers are aiming for 4,500 registrants by the launch of April’s event. Prior to Sunday’s kickoff, 600 participants had already registered, an increase by 300 entrants compared to this time last year, Hammerman said.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *