DURHAM, N.H. - For the second year in a row, the University of New Hampshire’s Relay for Life has earned a National Top Five Per Capita Youth Award from the American Cancer Society. The award recognizes the fundraising efforts of colleges and universities with an enrollment of 10,000-15,999. UNH came in at number five in its category, raising $129,558.
Relay for Life has participants taking turns walking, jogging, or running around a track for 24 hours. Teams consist of eight to 15 people. Each team has to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. This year, UNH had 1,240 walkers and runners. The money they raised supports cancer prevention, research and education.
The national award will be presented to UNH during the New England division’s annual Relay for Life leadership summit Oct. 23 in Marlborough, Mass. UNH senior Amanda Beland, co-chair of UNH Relay for Life, will accept the award.
“I think winning an award for helping a cause so close to the committee’s hearts was very meaningful. We worked so hard together throughout the year to put together an event to help end a catastrophic disease,” says Beland. “Many members of the committee have lost someone to cancer or know someone who is still battling. I can only hope that this year, as co-chair of the event, we can raise even more money than we did last year so that soon, another person won't have to hear the words, ‘"you have cancer.’ "
Since launching a chapter seven years ago, UNH teams have raised more than $700,000.
"Relay for Life is all about our college community uniting with the American Cancer Society and supporting its efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays," said Marianne Fortescue, UNH coordinator for special student programs in the office of community service. “Volunteers and participants who are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event are making a commitment to let our UNH campus know that cancer can be defeated.”
Relay for Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society. In 2010, events were held at more than 500 college campus around the country, raising more than $21 million. Relay for Life national awards are presented in recognition of outstanding performance in fundraising and to highlight the success of individuals, teams, and events that define the hallmarks of Relay for Life.
The tentative date for the 2011 UNH Relay for Life is April 16 and 17. To sign up or to get more information on the, visit www.relayforlife.org/unh.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.