With less than 20 days remaining until members of the community gather for the fourth annual Relay For Life at Georgetown, the pursuit of more participation and increased fundraising has hit high gear.
According to the Relay For Life Web site, Georgetown is currently in fourth place among other universities across the country with $97,182.86 raised for the American Cancer Society. Although Georgetown still has a long way to go to reach the $400,000 goal that the American Cancer Society has set for the university this year, Relay for Life Co-Chair Rachael Kenney (MSB ’11) said she is confident Georgetown will meet and far surpass its goal.
“We are on pace to easily reach that goal and we are hoping that if we get a little more ahead, we can bring Georgetown to the $500,000 level,” Kenney said.
Returns have been promising for Relay fundraising in recent days with Kenney reporting that as of March 28, Georgetown is $10,000 ahead in fundraising compared to last year at this time, and that the volume of donations in 2010 is double what it was in 2009.
Relay has also seen a recent spike in participants as 600 additional students signed up on March 21, the last day to sign up with the guarantee of receiving a T-shirt. Kenney hopes to see another boost in participants before April 1, when the sign-up fee for the event increases from $10 to $15.
Despite this strong showing early on, the last three years have demonstrated that the bulk of the donations tend to arrive in the days right before the event in April. This trend seems likely to continue in 2010; Kenney said that only 20 percent of Relay For Life participants have sent out e-mails in order to ask for donations at this point.
Although the majority of the donations for Relay will likely pour in at the last minute, many groups across campus have started fundraising early. As of March 29, the Relay For Life Web site listed Hoya Blue’s Relay For Life team as edging out the team Freshman 15 by $526 for first place in total fundraising among teams on campus. Both teams have raised over $11,000 so far and have upped their fundraising goals several times.
Freshman 15 team captain Suzanne Joyce (COL ’10) said her team’s success results from the entire team’s participation.
“It is not just one or two people fundraising on behalf of the entire team – we always have great participation among our friends and teammates,” Joyce said.
For Hoya Blue’s team captain Margaret Massimo (COL ’11), the fundraising success stems from remembering the purpose of Relay For Life.
“Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, and everyone has his or her own reason for wanting to fight back. By keeping that idea at the heart of fundraising, anyone can fundraise successfully,” Massimo said.
In addition to the efforts of these top two teams, many other teams are finding creative ways to fundraise for Relay For Life. On Saturday, March 27, Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority and the Jewish Student Association co-sponsored Charity Denim, an event where overstocked jeans from 2009 were sold to students, with all profits going directly to Relay For Life.
When asked about the turnout for Charity Denim, DPE Fundraising Chair Sam Sisskind (SFS ’12) said, “The event was very successful and was met with a lot of enthusiasm from the Georgetown community.”
According to Sisskind, Charity Denim sold over 40 pairs of jeans and raised $354.”