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Queen's Relay for Life raises over $46,000

By Rosie Hales, Communications Officer

The gym inside the Athletics and Recreation Centre was lit up by candles Friday night as hundreds of Relay for Life participants gathered to remember those who have died of cancer and honour those who have survived or are fighting the disease.

As of Sunday night, the event had raised over $44,640 and Relay for Life Co-Chairs Kaitlynn Almeida and Breanna Kelly, both Artsci‘14, expect this number to keep growing over the next week.

Relay for Life is an overnight, non-competitive relay that takes place on campus each year to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. Participants take turns walking around a track and engaging in team activities throughout the night.

Held at midnight, the Luminary Ceremony offered a time for reflection and remembrance as participants lit candles in memory of loved ones.

“It was great to see so many members of the Queen’s community come together for a great cause,” says Ms. Almeida. “It was definitely a memorable night.”

While the overnight relay is held annually, this isn’t Queen’s Relay for Life’s first fundraising event this year. The committee gave away T-shirts, pins and temporary tattoos during the first Homecoming weekend to raise awareness, held a barbecue outside of The Underground nightclub on Halloween, launched the “No Mo Cancer!” campaign in November, and distributed candy canes to studying students in December.

In the run-up to the overnight event, the team also passed out coloured ribbons that corresponded to a different type of cancer to raise awareness and dismiss misconceptions about the disease. 

This year’s Relay for Life committee worked to establish a greater social media presence for the relay. Participants were able to follow #QueensRelay during the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Relay for Life co-chairs say the collective energy of relay participants is what makes the event so unique.

“There was a moment around 3 am where we were all exhausted and cranky and just wanted to go to bed. But it’s at that moment that all the energy in the room is brought together by a cause that touches the lives of so many people,” says Ms. Kelly. “No other event I’ve participated in has compared to that feeling.”

Queen's Relay for Life is still accepting donations. To donate, please visit www.relayforlife.ca/queensu