By HOGAN LEPORE
On Feb. 9, Relay For Life joined the Office of Student Activities and Engagement in hosting another successful Bingo Night. SAE attempts to have a reasonable amount of events available on campus for students each week. Every Tuesday night, Student Affairs hosts Bingo Night at the Underground where students can hang out, have fun and win prizes.
“Student Affairs did a great job of spreading awareness of what Relay For Life is and how they function,” said freshman Abigail Richardson. “As a person who has been afflicted by the terrible disease, I feel this event was terrific for the entire cancer fighting community.”
According to students, the night did not have a dull moment. The hosts that call out numbers kept the vibe fun and interactive for the participants. The aspect of Bingo Night that is so interesting is the amount of dedicated followers it obtains. Every crowd member seems to know the lingo. For example, as the combination of the letter “b” and the number 11 are called, in unison, the entire crowd chants “Be eleven, be be eleven! Whoop whoop!” It was a very inviting and passionate crowd, providing what the students believe to be the perfect atmosphere for the promotion of Relay For Life.
In between every other game of bingo, Relay For Life members James Thomas Stewart and Greg Genuradi talked about everything from how the organization operates to how you can get involved. The cancer fighting organization also had a desk adjacent to the stage where anyone could get a pamphlet with more information, a donation jar along with cupcakes and candy and organization members who can help anyone become a part of the Relay For Life movement.
Winners of games received the general prizes from the school bookstore along with special Relay For Life prizes which included hats, shirts, thermoses, bags and cups. All proceeds of the night went to the American Cancer Society.
According to their official website, Doctor Gordy Klatt, founder of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, started the event in May 1985 by spending a tiring 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. He ultimately raised $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern, cancer. A year later, 340 advocates joined the overnight event.
Relay For Life is an event where each year more than four million people in over 20 countries raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay For Life movement. During an event, participants and even survivors of the disease celebrate what they have overcome. Contributors involved also remember the ones who have lost the fight to cancer and honor the ones who are still fighting. The events are life changing cancer fundraising events that help communities across the globe fight back against the lethal disease.
The University of Mary Washington Relay For Life organization reaches further than just UMW’s campus, in fact they promote their movement throughout the local Fredericksburg area.
Moving forward, the Mary Washington Relay team has numerous events until April. Recently, the group had a kick-off week of events in the Chandler Ballroom. Other great events that have taken place include the Spring Kickoff and the selling of baked goods on campus. Along with Bingo Night, Relay has other events for students to take part in the future, such as the Relay For Life Leap Into Fundraising Conference Call which begins on Monday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. The main event, the relay, begins Saturday Apr. 16 at 6 p.m. and ends on Sunday morning at 7 a.m.
So far, 20 teams and 128 participants have raised almost $7,000 for the UMW event. For more information on the events on campus locate the group through Facebook, visit RelayForLife.org or visit the University’s official website and click the ‘student life’ tab.
Since Klatt’s first steps, the movement has grown into a world wide phenomenon. According to Relay For Life, the events have raised nearly $5 billion to help fight cancer and thanks to the support of volunteers, the American Cancer Society is helping to save more than 500 lives from cancer every day.