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CCU's Relay For Life held at Blanton Park for the first time

April 2, 2019
Coastal Carolina University’s annual Relay For Life will take place from noon Saturday, April 6, to midnight Sunday, April 7 at CCU’s Blanton Park.Relay participants share an emotional moment when the sun goes down. Hundreds of luminaria are lit in remembrance of loved ones lost, someone currently battling, or survivors.

Coastal Carolina University is hosting its annual Relay For Life to benefit the American Cancer Society from noon Saturday, April 6, to midnight Sunday, April 7. This year, the event will be held at Blanton Park for the first time.

The public is invited to attend and support the cause of finding a cure for cancer. There is no entrance fee, but participants are encouraged to donate to the teams’ fundraisers.

The name Relay For Life might lead some to think the event includes a race, but there is no running involved. The “relay” is signified by each team having at least one person walking the track at all times, which symbolizes the ongoing fight against cancer.

Teams will host individual fundraisers at the event, including costume contests, a lip-sync battle, and a variety of games, food and prizes.

The 12-hour event, co-hosted by CCU’s Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) chapter, is part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the battle against cancer through fundraising to support the American Cancer Society (ACS).

“It is important to host this event because every single student, faculty or staff member at CCU has been affected by this horrific disease,” said Donnelly Wolf, a senior marketing major and president of CCU’s chapter of CAC. “The work we do at Coastal and the funds we raise has reduced the number of people who lose their fight.”

Currently, 35 teams and 700 participants have raised $63,453 for the American Cancer Society. Wolf said CAC has set a goal of raising $100,000 for Relay For Life 2019. Around 1,500 students and community members are expected at the event.

The money raised goes to the ACS and contributes to providing resources to those impacted by cancer. The benefits range from free housing during extended treatment, rides to and from chemotherapy, free wigs and caps, support groups, and cancer research. ACS also partners with hotels to provide discounted or free places to stay while receiving treatment.

“Relay is a celebration of life for cancer survivors; it is a place to remember loved ones that so many of us have lost to cancer; and it is a way to fight back against cancer so that one day, it will be a thing of the past,” said Amelia Carte, coordinator for civic engagement in CCU’s Office of Student Life and faculty advisor for CAC.

The luminaria ceremony is a special moment for most people who attend Relay For Life. When the sun goes down at the event, Blanton Park will be filled with lighted lanterns to honor cancer survivors and those who lost the battle. “It is a special time to celebrate and remember those who won the battle against cancer and for those who fought courageously until the end,” said Wolf.

Last year, the CCU chapter of CAC reached the million-dollar mark of lifetime funds raised. This is the 12th Relay For Life event at CCU.

For more information, contact Wolf, president of the CAC club at relayforlife@coastal.edu, or visit the Relay For Life of CCU website at www.relayforlife.org/ccusc.