Campus News

Bowdoin Hosts Fifth Annual ACS Relay for Life

Story posted April 17, 2010

The College hosted its fifth annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life, which took place from 6 p.m. Friday, April 16, 2010, to 6 a.m. the following morning.

The overnight event is symbolic of the fact that cancer never sleeps; as such, participating teams are asked to have a representative on the track at all times.

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Emily Neilson '11 participated and offers this account:

Farley Field House was transformed into a festival of celebration Friday night — balloons floated in the air, crowds of people hovered around the ping-pong table, roars of laughter filled the space during the hypnotist show.

What was the occasion? Bowdoin College hosted its fifth annual Relay for Life event to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Amidst the fun activities of the night, there was no forgetting the ubiquity of this terrible disease and our joint cause to beat it.

A particular reason Relay for Life at Bowdoin is so unique, and so successful, is that it is a completely student-led fundraising event.

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Event organizers (L. to r.) Randy Defeo '11, Donna Muto and Phil Tonucci '10.

The organizing committee began holding weekly meetings following winter break to motivate fellow students to raise money and plan the night of celebration.

It took a lot of hard work to get every detail right, and the committee pulled it off.

The theme of the event was poignant and positive: help people with cancer celebrate one more birthday.

President Barry Mills said in his speech, "Day to day, I can tell you, this is really hard work," and that this event helped to say thank you to the people joined in the daily fight against cancer.

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Other speakers included Andy McClain of the New England Region American Cancer Society and Dr. Thomas Keating, a Bowdoin alum and oncologist at Maine General Medical Center.

The event's success speaks to how strong the Bowdoin community's belief in service is.

The Relay for Life Committee's goal was to raise $50,000 dollars — and they surpassed it this year, raising an astonishing $56,000 dollars.

It certainly was a special night for Bowdoin and for anyone whose life has been touched by the disease.

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