Relay For Life is an international, community-based fundraising event of the American Cancer Society. Each year, thousands of volunteers coordinate and participate in more than 5,000 events at local churches, schools, college campuses, and parks, in 27 countries around the globe, all with a shared mission: to remember those who have lost their battle with cancer, to support those facing cancer, and to one day eliminate cancer.
Every spring, Loyola hosts this incredibly moving 12-hour fundraising event on the Evergreen campus. Brought to Loyola’s campus by Jeanne Lombardi, long-time former director of student health services who lost her son to melanoma when he was in his late 20s in 2004, Relay for Life of Loyola University Maryland is made possible today thanks to a dedicated committee of more than 200 students, led by an executive board, that raises funds and awareness for cancer research and plans and executes the event for the Loyola and local community.
Teams of participants take turns walking or running laps, and each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times. Loyola’s laps are completed at a track that is built in Reitz Arena especially for the event.
Beyond the walk, Relay For Life is to designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs for the American Cancer Society, including transportation for patients undergoing cancer treatment, funding for Hope Lodge, which offers free room and dining for patients, and access to a support hotline for patients and their families and caregivers.
When they're not walking, Relayers make cards for cancer patients, participate in scavenger hunts and raffles, and enjoy a battle of the bands, karaoke, and trivia.
There’s never a dull moment for participants during the 12-hour event, which is hosted by student MCs who keep the crowd informed, entertained, and excited about events and activities that happen throughout the afternoon, night, and early morning. Participants enjoy musical performances by the Chimes, the Belles, and the Greysounds student acapella groups, the Ukulele Club, and the Loyola Gospel Choir; dance performances by Unleashed Step Team, the Irish Step Team, the Dance Company, and others; and comedy by the Nevergreens improv comedy club.
Different activities keep participants engaged when they’re not walking or running the track. Relayers can make cards for cancer patients, participate in a scavenger hunt and raffles, compete in or spectate a battle of the bands, karaoke, “minute to win it” challenges, and trivia. Food is available throughout the entire event, thanks to generous local sponsors who provide everything from Pei Wei noodles to Insomnia Cookies, hummus and Mediterranean fare from Zoe’s Kitchen, to bagels, chips, and sodas.
Relay For Life of Loyola University Maryland is proud to be among one of the highest fundraising teams in the country, raising nearly $2.5M since our inception in 2005.
Everyone on campus has a reason to fight for someone
“Relay For Life is one of the most dynamic clubs on campus because the organization is broken down through passion-driven groups, and then given a large amount of responsibility that is divided among 100 students. Throughout the school year, we form teams with our friends to raise money for the American Cancer Society by doing all sorts of odd jobs and bake sales. Each planning meeting begins with a Mission Moment, a reason shared by an individual as to why they joined Relay For Life and what RFL means to them. It is a weekly reminder that everyone who gathers in the basement of Knott Hall every Tuesday evening has a reason to be at RFL meetings. We fight for those who can't.” —Julia, former Relay For Life committee member