Relay for Life fundraises, coordinates benefit concert

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Relay for Life at Vassar will participate in its first event on April 22, hosted by Marist College. In order to prepare for the event, the Relay for Life team will host a fundraiser complete with music and food. Photo courtesy of Charlene N Simmons via Flickr

You can’t win a relay without a team. This year, the Vassar Relay for Life team is passing the baton to Marist College. Hosting the event at Marist instead of on Vassar campus this year is a change from past tradition, but aims to raise more money for cancer research through a combined effort.

The Relay for Life team is trying to raise funds for cancer patients and medical research through a benefit concert that will feature per­formances by well-known Vassar music groups and artists. The Relay for Life Benefit Concert, which will take place on the April 8, will con­tribute to the greater community and hopefully save lives.

Cancer is a disease that has touched most people’s lives in some form or the other and too many people have lost loved ones to cancer. This event highlights its importance as well as the need to do something to help all the peo­ple and their families who have to live through cancer.

Relay for Life Co-President Aron Sulovari ’18 explained, “Relay for Life Kickoff is a benefit concert organized by Vassar’s Relay for Life team as they fundraise for their participation in Marist’s Relay for Life event on April 22, which represents the Hudson Valley region.” While Marist College will host the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event, many schools, or­ganizations and individuals in the community will come together to help support the event to end cancer. Participating in this event will pro­vide help to a breast cancer patient in the form of one-on-one peer support from a breast can­cer survivor and rides to and from treatment centers.

It also offers cancer patients and their care­giver one night of free lodging at an Ameri­can Cancer Society Hope Lodge, which offers a more homey environment for patients and caregivers.

Sulovari added, “This is the first time Vassar is participating in the event. Relay for Life is an annual fundraising campaign organized by the American Cancer Society.”

The Relay for Life team is excited about the event and hopes it goes off without a hitch. Su­lovari explained that the successes of this year’s Benefit Concert may well represent how Relay for Life will be able to fundraise in the future. “We expect the event to go well, and set a prec­edent for future events. This is the first time Vassar’s Relay for Life team is hosting such an event,” Sulovari said.

He went on, “Traditionally, we have hosted a ‘mini’ Relay for Life here at the college. In order to better integrate into the greater Hudson Val­ley community, we have decided to participate in a larger event instead.”

It is a great venture that has been under­taken by the Relay for Life team. Participat­ing in Marist College’s Relay for Life event is a definite way to generate larger support for the cause and greater publicity to fight such a deadly disease.

For Vassar’s Relay for Life team, there is no such thing as over-preparation. “ Preparation for the event started last semester. The mem­bers of Vassar’s Relay for Life exec board pre­pared for the event by taking care of various aspects of the event, such as logistics and en­tertainment, and then focusing on marketing,” said Sulovari.

The team has also partnered with the Amer­ican Cancer Society to work out the specifics. “We coordinated with the American Cancer Society of Hudson Valley to register our team following member recruitment. We then dis­cussed what would be the most effective way to both fundraise and raise awareness. We decid­ed that a benefit concert which engages student groups would be the best fit,” Sulovari said.

The Relay for Life team hopes that the prom­ise of hearing music made by peers will attract many people to the event. Sulovari went on to explain the other aspects of planing and prepa­ration that are needed for the event, saying, “We worked closely with SARC and various departments to actually plan the event and stu­dent orgs to arrange the performances. We then went about marketing it ourselves via social media and flyers.”

Publicity is always a crucial element in plan­ning an event, especially an event that can bring so much good to the world and is for charity. “The event has been publicized by our Face­book event, flyers around campus and house teams,” added Sulovari.

Live music and great food are always key el­ements in generating enthusiastic participation and the Relay for Life team made sure to work with many other on-campus groups to provide music, rather than bands from the surrounding community. “We reached out to student orgs which we knew were interested in performing at our event,” Sulovari said.

He added, “Performers include the Vastards, Beauty and the Beats, Measure for Measure, The Run to Earth, Desperate Measures, FAQ Section, Vassar Sori and a Djed Playlist.” The sheer number of performances and participants are sure to bring in a large crowd and keep them entertained and happy. “In terms of food, Local vendors that frequent Vassar were contacted,” said Sulovari. If the food selection is anything like Tasty Tuesday then crowds of students will be rushing to the event, no questions asked.

According to the Relay for Life website, “Each person who shares the Relay For Life ex­perience can take pride in knowing that they are working to create a world where this dis­ease will no longer threaten our loved ones or rob anyone of another birthday.”

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