ON MARCH 16, THE University Centre was transformed into a track and stadium as the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) held their annual Relay for Life. The event helped raise $25,850 for cancer research, but the relay held a larger importance for the organizers and participants.
“Relay for Life is a unique philanthropic event as it goes beyond raising money for Ccncer research and building awareness,” said Nicole Moffet, co-organizer for the event. “Relay for Life also provides support and a sense of community for those within our university, as well as family and friends that are affected by cancer.”
Logan Ouellette, fourth-year student and long-time participant of Relay for Life, agreed, explaining the event does more than simply raise funds, but rather promotes healthier and active lifestyles.
“It’s a movement I believe in, because it goes so far above and beyond the 12-hour relay event. It encompasses a fundraising campaign, with all funds raised going to support a cancer study at the University of Ottawa this year instead of going directly to the Canadian Cancer Society, which we thought was a really cool way to incite our community to donate.”
Three hundred students participated in the event and were entertained for 12 hours by the many activities provided by the SFUO. Highlights included performances by Brandon Wint, an award winning slam poet, as well as musical acts by local and student artists. There was also yoga, a game of human chess, Karaoke, movies, and an appearance by Ray’s Reptiles.
“This year we also put a heavier emphasis on providing further cancer awareness opportunities for participants,” said Moffet. “Health Promotion’s Leave the Pack Behind team set up an interactive table for the first portion of the event, which proved to be very popular. They also provided pedometers so that participants could track how many steps they took while walking the track throughout the night.”
“I thought the event was an unequivocal success this year. Out of all my years of involvement on the committee, this year has been a record-breaking one: We had the highest rate of participation (near 300 students), the highest funds raised ($25,854.18 so far), the greatest social media presence, and arguably the most fun,” said Ouellette of the event.
The Relay for Life fund is still receiving money, and the SFUO estimates they will have raised a total of $27,000 once all the money comes in.
“Our goal was to raise $25,000 so it is very exciting to have met and surpassed our goal,” said Moffet.