June 08, 2012

Relay For Life at ASU named No. 13 in nation for fundraising

Posted: June 08, 2012
Relay For Life at ASU
Relay For Life at ASU.
Photo by: John Licas
Luminaria bags
Luminaria bags are personalized in honor of someone who has been affected by cancer.
Photo by: John Licas

The student-led Relay For Life committee and Arizona State University have placed thirteenth in nation among colleges and universities for highest fundraising dollars for Relay for Life 2012.

Held on ASU’s Tempe, West and Polytechnic campuses annually, Relay For Life is a community celebration that raises awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society, and honors those whose lives have been touched by the disease.  

A committee of 15 students and advisor at the Tempe campus, Meghan Remington, were responsible for putting this year’s festivities together – including working toward their ambitious fundraising goal of $175,000. With the help of their friends, family, and community members, the group was able to raise $167,000 in total.

Although they did not meet their personal goal, the team still managed to snag the lucky number thirteen spot on the top list of participating colleges for donations. ASU was one of just three Pac-12 schools to make the list along with the University of Washington and UCLA.

“I was so excited when I found out we came in at thirteen that I yelled it in my office. We know that we can shoot for the moon and so that was extra encouragement,” said Remington.

As a child, Remington was diagnosed with cancer and is now one of the lucky individuals who proudly take a survivor lap around track at Relay For Life. In addition, she has been touched by cancer through friends and family who have not been as fortunate to share her fate. It is for them that she first became involved with the organization as a freshman at ASU. She enjoyed the experience so much that she continued her participation throughout her college years. Now an event coordinator for the university, Remington advises the new leaders of the Relay for Life group.

One of those members is committee executive director and recent ASU graduate, Shannon Levante, who first became involved with Relay For Life in high school after her twin sister was diagnosed with cancer when the pair was just sixteen years old. With her sister now in remission, Levante says it is the community participation that keeps coming back each year.

“It is probably one of the most positive and passionate events I’ve been to at ASU. Everyone there has been touched by cancer so it brings us together as a community and a university,” she said.

But bringing everyone together doesn’t happening on it’s own. Levante and fellow Relay committee members spend months planning the event. They handle everything including donations, event volunteers, survivor participation, set up details, etc.

“It is a lot to do with just fifteen members, but they all really care and have a passion for the event. If something doesn’t work out we just keep reminding each other we are here and care about the cause,” said Levante.

Remington mentioned that the committee’s hard work also paid off in another aspect of the friendly competition that ASU has every year with Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona involving Relay For Life. Along with overall fundraising, the three colleges compete in funds raised per capita. ASU took first place again this year with roughly $60 in capita. Last year the Sun Devils claimed the top spot thanks to the contributions specifically from the Polytechnic campus.

Looking ahead, the committee is striving to make Relay For Life at ASU a signature event for student participation. They would also like to claim the number one spot for fundraising dollars to help the American Cancer Society. And, of course, continue to show those kitties down south why the Sun Devils should be feared both on the field and in the donations sphere.  

For more information on how you can get involved, contact Meghan Remington at meghan.remington@asu.edu.

Natasha Karaczan, natasha.karaczan@asu.edu
480-965-6991
Media Relations