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Community comes together to fund cancer research

Students came together to combat cancer on Saturday by walking to raise money at Relay for Life. 

Relay for Life is an event that generates money for cancer research and also allowed hundreds of people in the community to honor those that have been affected by cancer. 

Seventy-five teams set up around the Indoor Athletic Complex and offered attendees a variety of ways to raise money from noon to midnight on Saturday, from face paintings to walking tacos to "bra pong." The annual event raised $55,600 as of April 10. 

The fundraiser goes through August with the goal of raising up to $70,000 for the American Cancer Society.

A person from each team must always be walking on the track during Relay for Life events.

Warren senior and president of registered student organization Colleges Against Cancer Samantha Kidd helped organize the 12-hour fundraising event.

"This is meant for anyone in the community to come and honor those who have and had cancer, it touches everyone in some way, this is important to everyone here," Kidd said. "You are actively a part of something so much bigger than yourself."

Teams registered online by paying a $10 fee and raised additional funds through individual fundraising efforts at Relay. 

"Most of our fundraising happens online," Kidd said. "Last year we raised $67,000 and had 85 teams." 

Sororities, fraternities, residence halls and clubs set up tables with personalized fundraising activities.

 "Our fraternity is trying to raise money for Relay by selling Gatorade and being able to Pie a Pi, all the brothers come circulate throughout the day supporting the fundraiser," said Spring Lake freshman Eric Coleville. 

Throughout the day, there were events set up to help celebrate those who have survived cancer and those who have stood by their loved ones who have faced cancer. 

"My brother had battled with cancer which is one of the main reasons as to why I wanted to be a part of this, he actually is here today walking which makes me happy," said Macomb freshman Danielle Dittman. "It brings so many people together that aren't even from around here which is wonderful." 

The events held at Relay For Life were both upbeat and somber to pay respect to loved ones lost to cancer like The Asia Project and the Luminaria Ceremony.

"My friends and I here to volunteer to help any teams that need it, we wanted to find a way to help give to Relay and we are excited to participate in all the activities throughout the day," said Muskegon freshman Joe Pallas.

Donations are being accepted online through August.