Coastal Carolina University's Relay for Life, held April 5, to 6, raised more than $120,000, beating its goal and setting another CCU record.
Sixty-one teams, more than 900 participants and approximately 3,000 people took part in the 12-hour event, with all the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.
"I'm so happy with the turnout. So many people braved the cold weather," says senior Kelly Sullivan, co-chair for Relay for Life. "By the time 7 a.m. came around, it was awesome to look around the track and see how many teams spent the night. It definitely wasn't easy staying in the cold for so long."
Fundraising activities were scheduled to keep attendees' minds off the weather. "The wing-eating contest and the Ms. Relay pageant were the most popular fundraising events this year," says Sullivan. "We raised over $800 with the pageant."
Upstage Cancer, a charitable organization that supports the fight against lung cancer, organized a drag show. A Zumba sessions was held at 12:30 a.m. to keep relayers up and moving, while food and drinks of all varieties were available during the entire event.
One of Sullivan's highlights of the evening was the symbolic first lap. "It's always emotional when you see the survivors take their first lap," she says. "So much of what we do is for them, so to have survivors in attendance and celebrate with them is an honor."
Last year Relay for Life CCU raised $112,00, placing CCU third in the nation in dollars raised per student. Official numbers won't be available until August 31, 2013, but Sullivan is confident CCU will retain its position.
"I definitely think we have a strong possibility of being in the top three in dollars raised per capita based on our numbers right now."