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$125,000 raised at Relay for Life


Choosing to participate in Friday’s Relay for Life required little thought for sophomore strategic communication major Kelsey Thomas.

Thomas not only participated in the relay, but also held the position as a team leader. She said that her Principles in Public Relations class formed a team to raise money for the cause.

“Professor [Jacqueline] Lambiase gave us the opportunity to choose a project, and my cousin had done it in the past,” Thomas said. “She told me I had to do it, that it was an amazing experience. She was right.”

Millions of people are affected by cancer every day and it’s something that hits home to everyone in some form or another, Thomas said. Relay for Life is a way to celebrate life and promote community support and generosity, she said.

According to a Relay for Life email, the Fort Worth Relay teams had raised almost $125,000 as of Sunday afternoon, the proceeds of which would go to the American Cancer society.

Leah Iris, a freshman strategic communication major, was part of Thomas’ team. She said Relay for Life was a special event because it not only involved raising money, but also symbolized the journey a cancer patient and family endures.

Iris said the Relay for Life was set up around LaGrave baseball field so that participants could walk around the perimeter of field. Every team had at least one team member walking the entire time to illustrate how cancer is a battle that is constantly fought, she said. The event went all night long.

“When you are walking and are tired, it makes you realize the fight that cancer patients are going through,” Iris said.

Iris said the interior of the field was used for teams to set up booths with games, toys and food. Teams would bring what they wanted to sell and use the proceeds to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

Jacqueline Lambiase, associate professor of strategic communication, decided to give her students the option of participating in Relay for Life for a class project when she first began teaching at TCU. She said she heard about the event through Sheri Milhollin, the ID card services coordinator.

Lambiase said Relay for Life provided a great service-learning project. She said it was also a great model to show students how a great event is planned. More importantly, though, it was a way for TCU to lend a hand in the fight against cancer.

“It’s a great thing to do in the community,” Lambiase said. “One of the missions of the university is to be involved in the community, and it’s just something we can do to give back.

It’s a way we can join together with the people of Fort Worth and really make a difference.”

Liz Mark, a sophomore business major and executive member of Eta Iota Sigma sorority, said giving back to the community was important to her. Members of her sorority attended the event to get involved and show support.

Thomas said in addition to the money raised by her team, Relay for Life included different ways to continue fundraising during the event. She said TCU participated in the Miss Relay contest.

“We had a faculty team and a student team and whoever ended up with the most money in their jar had to dress up like a woman at midnight and walk around,” Thomas said.

“It’s a fun way to encourage people to donate to the cause.”

Lambiase said her Principles of Public Relations class team raised $3,098 for the event, far surpassing their original goal of $1,000.

Mark said getting involved in the fight against cancer helped more than students could imagine. She said she was happy to see the amount of TCU involvement at Relay for Life.

“With cancer especially there are so many people affected by it,” Mark said. “I think that everyone knows someone that has had cancer or is suffering through it right now. It’s so great to see everyone out supporting a cause like this.”

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