TTU Relay for Life raises more than $20,000 for American Cancer Society

The philosophy of Tennessee Tech University’s Relay for Life committee seems to be that a dollar is worth more when it’s used to help someone.

That could explain why the university’s recent Relay for Life event, in only its second year, surpassed its fundraising goal by nearly $4,000, raising more than $20,750 to benefit the American Cancer Society.

“TTU’s Relay for Life committee totally rocks,” said Tammy O’Dell, development representative for the mid-South division of the American Cancer Society. “Although this is only its second year, its contribution has already been substantial, and we anticipate that it will continue to grow in years to come.”

Held last month in the Memorial Gym, the event attracted more than 400 participants on 25 different university teams. Each team represented a different country of the world, to coincide with the event’s theme of “Awesome’s Relay Around the World.”

Many of the teams sold international foods corresponding to the countries they represented, and other fundraising events — such as a dance competition, silent auction, basketball tournament and Fear Factor contest — were held throughout the night.

As the American Cancer Society’s signature activity, Relay for Life events nationwide attract more than 3.5 million participants. Teams camp out at the site of the event and are asked to have at least one member on the relay track at all times.

Each event runs from 12 to 24 hours and allows participants to have fun while simultaneously raising funds to fight cancer and raise awareness of cancer prevention and treatment.

TTU’s Relay for Life was a focus of the campus’ Greek Week philanthropy projects, with TTU sorority and fraternity members raising a substantial percentage of the funds — but it’s not limited specifically to Greek organizations, university officials point out.

“TTU Relay for Life is for any students, faculty and staff who want to participate, and it’s open to all campus organizations,” said Katie Williams, TTU’s coordinator of Greek Life.

“We had a good representation of campus organizations this year, but we hope to see even wider participation next year,” said Brandy Marshall, a TTU student and co-chair of the university’s Relay for Life committee.

“So far, we’ve seemed to do well when it comes to setting our goals,” she said. “Of course, we are always open to sponsorship.”

Teams for next year’s TTU Relay for Life will be forming in September, once the fall semester begins.

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