The SGA prepared for the Relay For Life since being awarded the chance to hold the event on campus. The Relay For Life committee has set goals of $35,000 and 30 teams. These teams will participate in the Feb. 28 event.
Relay For Life committee chairperson Shara Senior said that 25 teams have already signed up for the event, and she is confident that five more teams will be recruited.
Senior, also the SGA surgeon general, believes that an important objective for the fundraiser is to increase awareness about cancer mortality rates in the African-American community.
“I believe the American Cancer Society choose FAMU because more blacks die of cancer than any other (ethnic group)” said Senior.
Although there has been a lot of progress made in the area of signing up groups for the event the amount of money raised may not be known until late next month.
Thursday is publicized as the “bank date,” which is when all money should be collected. However, organizations can submit money for the fundraiser until March 22.
Committee chair Senior is convinced that the priority of this fundraiser is to have as much participation as possible. This commitment to a large turn out enthuses members of the American Cancer Society.
“We really are excited to have the Relay For life at FAMU,” said Margaret Bemis, a representative for the American Cancer Society.
“This campus has a lot of excitement on it, we want to be a part of that.”
The ACS is trying to increase familiarity with the dangers of cancer in the African American community. According to ACS statistics, cancer deaths are 30 percent higher for blacks than for whites.
“The African-American community is less likely to seek early detection, so we are trying to raise awareness (about the risk),” said Bemis.
Student participants in the Relay For Life understand the need for early detection. Kevin S. Martin, 24, a senior political science and economics student from Hollywood, Fla., said, “If you catch it (cancer) early, you have a better chance to cure it.”
While Bemis shares committee chair Senior’s belief that participation is a vital issue, she believes that the monetary goal is just as important if not more. Bemis noted that the money raised by the fundraiser will stay in the community and help in cancer treatments, as well as prevention efforts.
Garrison L. Vereen II Staff Writer