John Carroll University’s Relay For Life earned number one status as it raised the most money per student in the 2,500 to 4,999-enrollment bracket.
The event, which took place last April 21 and 22, raised $100,356.86. This exceeded the JCU Relay leadership team’s goal of $40,000. Based on the amount of JCU students, it was determined that $25.76 per capita was raised. Gettysburg College, located in Pennsylvania, came in second place, almost $2 behind JCU’s per capita.
In a press release, JoNell Peterson, Ohio’s vice president for Relay For Life, said, “This was John Carroll’s first year to Relay and they set the pace for the nation.”
JCU’s first Relay had 832 participants on 65 teams, with 30 survivors participating as well. It is estimated that 1,200 attendees came to partake in the festivities during the 18-hour event, and only $18,250 of the over $100,000 raised came from sponsorships.
The University of Dayton and JCU were the only two Ohio schools to be nationally recognized. Other Jesuit universities, such as Georgetown University, Saint Louis University and Loyola College also ranked in the top five of their enrollment brackets.
Event Chairperson Joel Mullner ’07 and Co-Chairperson Patrick Kelly ’07 led the first Relay for Life.
Mullner, who is now a graduate assistant in the JCU Office of Student Activities and will be the staff advisor for this year’s Relay, said he was thrilled with the news of JCU’s ranking.
“We didn’t even know that Relays were ranked until we received word of this recognition. This just reiterates what I’ve known deep in my heart for the last four years – that the people of JCU, when called upon, really come together when it counts,” said Mullner.
This year’s event co-chair for mission, junior Samantha Cocco, said she was proud of everyone who had a part in Relay last year. She was especially proud that the Relay had so much success after being planned in 90 days.
“I am still amazed by how much we accomplished in 90 days as far as planning, and how much money all of the participants were able to raise in that short period,” said Cocco. “I really think the amazing enthusiasm and dedication of our participants was what made our Relay such a success.”
Cocco added, “The leadership team was phenomenal. We all took the initiative to complete our own tasks, and also helped one another out.”
According to the American Cancer Society, The Relay For Life “aims to celebrate survivorship, remember those we’ve lost to the disease, and give everyone an opportunity to fight back against cancer.”
All money raised during the event benefits the American Cancer Society and its work with cancer patients.
Cocco said that this year, the 20-person leadership team has seven months to prepare.
“I have no doubt that our second annual Relay will surpass that of last years in so many ways. We would like to have more participants, survivors, volunteers, money and even more fun than last year,” she said.
“We hope to use the skills we developed and all of the experience we gained from last year to ‘wow’ everyone again with another phenomenal Relay.”
Mullner added, “After gaining the national spotlight, there will be a lot of eyes on the 2008 Relay to see if last year was a fluke or if we are truly building something special here at Carroll. I think we have the focus and leadership to become consistently known for hosting one of the nation’s best Relays.”
JCU’s second Relay For Life will start on Saturday, April 26 and end on Sunday, April 27. For more information, go to www.jcu.edu/relay.