Relay for Life participants listen to a speaker in the Fieldhouse

Carleton’s Relay for Life Fundraiser Surpasses $125,000 Goal

Story and Photos by Joseph Mathieu

CU Relay For Life, Carleton University’s most successful student-run fundraiser, raised $128,824.24 for the Canadian Cancer Society during their annual overnight relay event.

At the opening ceremonies on March 3, event organizer Tania Gomes encouraged close to 780 students in the Fieldhouse to push through the toughest hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.

“We are so, so thankful for all you here committing the 12 hours for Relay for Life, as well as fundraising all year,” she said. “Last time I checked, we have already raised over $92,000 online!”

Top-Earning Relay for Life University in 2016

By 7 a.m. on Saturday, Carleton’s efforts had raised close to $4,000 over an ambitious $125,000 goal. In 2016, CU Relay for Life raised $118,000 and placed Carleton as the top-earning university in Canada, with Queen’s University not far behind at $108,000. The national event affiliated with the Canadian Cancer Society allows Canadian students from high school, college, and university to join together to fight cancer.

The all-nighter included many activities to keep students active, including henna, yoga, salsa and Zumba lessons, a live DJ and plenty of games.

“Since 2009, we have been working so hard and we have raised over $530,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society,” said Relay co-chair Kathryn Hunt. “It’s because of you guys that we are here today and we’re so successful. You guys pour your hearts, your dedication and your spirit into this event, and we honestly can’t thank you enough.”

Dedication and Spirit

It’s not uncommon for the Relay For Life to raise several thousand more dollars in the weeks following the actual event, and the fundraising page will remain open until the end of April.

To kick off the relay, Mayor Jim Watson offered a welcoming address.

“You’ve taken time out of your schedule and your life, to spend time here with some friends to have some fun,” he said. “But it’s a time commitment to raise some money for an important cause because too many people in our society still die of cancer.”

“There’s probably not one person in this room that does not have a direct or pretty close to direct connection with cancer – a family member, a co-worker, a fellow student who’s been touched with cancer. So thank you very, very much for the work that you’re doing and the money you’ve raised.”