Relay for Life, a 12-hour long overnight event, ended early Saturday morning with a total of $137,087 raised for the American Cancer Society. According to event co-chair Jenna Kastan, a Weinberg senior, this year’s Relay was the most successful in Northwestern’s history.
She added that the donation total will likely increase because the group fundraises through August each year.
Although Kastan does not yet have final participation numbers, she said over 800 students registered online, but some of those probably did not participate in the event, while others waited to register in person. She estimated that about 500 or 600 students participated.
“We’ve been getting bigger and bigger each year,” said Kastan, who has participated in seven Relay for Life events, three of which have been at Northwestern. “This one was the best I’ve ever been to. Everyone was just really happy and all the participants seemed content. It ran really smoothly.”
Medill freshman Jacqueline Andriakos participated in Relay for the first time this year as part of the Theta/SAE relay team. At midnight, she also provided some of the night’s entertainment with her dance group, Graffiti.
“I got a lot of good feedback from people in my sorority and it’s for a really good cause,” Andriakos said about why she decided to participate in Relay. She added that she looked forward to “spending time with the other people that are here. They’re all here for good reasons.”
Kastan expressed the same sentiment. She said that the night is full of fun activities for the participants -– games, food and entertainment –- but there is also a remembrance ceremony and speeches from cancer survivors to remind them why they are there.
“It’s a really unique night,” Kastan said. “I know how important it is to keep fundraising…. It’s just very meaningful, so I try to help out when I can.”