Clarion University wants to raise $36,000 at Relay

Ashby Diaz explains how to sign up online for the Clarion University Relay for Life during a press conference at the university. Also pictured are (from left) Carri Pakozdi, Anna Chamberlin, Taylor Starr and Erin Rodgers, all of the university's women's soccer team. (By Marissa Dechant)

By Marissa Dechant Staff writer

Relay for Life of Clarion University is hoping to exceed last year’s goal at its 2017 event this spring.

The relay will take place from 8 a.m. April 7 to 8 a.m. April 8 at the university’s Student Recreation Center.

This year’s fundraising goal is $36,000, with $6,000 already donated as of Friday.

“This is the largest campus fundraiser, which is amazing.” said Nikki Carey, the community development manager for Clarion County and the university.

Emily Cooper, vice president and recruitment chair for the university’s Relay for Life, said this year’s theme is “Superheroes vs. Villains.”

“Last year’s event was so moving and fun at the same time, and it was my favorite event on campus,” said Cooper.

Games during the relay will include a basketball tournament, musical chairs and cornhole.

Carey said on-site fundraising is done by teams and through events like a scavenger hunt and basket raffle.

Another fundraising activity introduced last year is “Relay Jail.”

Carey said a member from each team is locked in a room in the rec center and can’t leave until he/she raises $50 in donations. This can be done by calling and texting friends and family, she said.

Carey said more teams have signed up than last year, and there will be more “fun and intense” games this year to keep energy levels high during the 24-hour event.

“Every year is different. The event is only as fun as everyone makes it,” she said.

Carey said “traveling trophies” will be introduced this year. One participating Greek organization and one non-Greek team will receive plaques for raising the most money.

The winning teams will keep the plaques until next year when they can compete for them again, Carey explained.

Other events include a luminaria ceremony to honor those touched by cancer and a dinner for cancer survivors and caregivers.

Since 2003, the university has raised $285,000 to benefit American Cancer Society programs that include the National Cancer Information Center, Road to Recovery, Hope Lodge and the free Wig Bank.

Carey said it is important that students and faculty participate because funds also benefit cancer research.

She stressed that people don’t have to be part of a team to participate in the relay.

Teams can register up until the day before the event for $10 per person. Registration the day the relay is $20 per person.