The annual Relay For Life event at the University of New Hampshire will kick off next Saturday, April 23 at noon. There will be 18 straight hours of shared support, reflection and remembrance wrapping up at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. 

As a staff, The New Hampshire feels that this event is something every student on campus should participate in. There are few other times throughout the year that we students have the opportunity to come together in shared support of finding a cure for the various forms of cancer.

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, Relay For Life events take place in communities nationwide. According to the Relay For Life at UNH website, 61 teams and 746 participants have already raised $54,054.32. That’s a pretty impressive mark, but there’s still plenty of time to increase that amount.

Last year at UNH, a whopping $75,564 was raised. Over 900 students participated and over 40 student organizations were represented. Those numbers are terrific and something we should be proud of. However, it’s important that we don’t get complacent. It should be our goal as a community to beat last year’s total in both dollars raised and participation.

We all know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, it’s a disease for which researchers have yet to find a cure. By participating in the event through walking as a team or donating money, we, as a student body, establish a strong line of community support for our fellow Wildcats, citizens and people around the world. 

Specifically, the fraternities and sororities on campus do a tremendous job of showing support and raising thousands of dollars as a collective group. As of Sunday, April 10, fraternities and sororities registered to participate have raised a combined $9,111.55. However, a huge shout out to Team Grossi, which has already raised over $10,000, is in order. This team has 89 participants who have by far raised the highest amount of money. Also, we’d like to recognize Hayley Siemering, who has raised $1,830 individually. These extremely outgoing and praiseworthy efforts help set a shining example of philanthropy that other colleges and universities would do well to follow. 

Certainly, there are other things you could be doing with your Saturday night. But taking the time to stop by the Whittemore Center in support of someone you know who has or had cancer is a worthwhile experience on which you’d be remiss to skip out.  Philanthropy is important. It speaks to who we are as a community and should give us a sense of pride.

So if you haven’t done so already, please set aside some time for a noble cause and sign up for the event online. You can get there by Googling “Relay For Life UNH.”

Keep raising money and encouraging others to participate. Together, we can continue the tradition of having a great turnout at Relay For Life.

Executive Editor