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Over $100,000 raised at Relay

Maureen Mullen | Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Notre Dame’s third annual Relay for Life was held this past weekend at Stepan Center. The 16-hour event that began Friday night at 6 p.m. and continued until 10 a.m. Saturday morning honored cancer survivors, paid tribute to those lost to the disease and raised funds to benefit research.

The American Cancer Society Club of Notre Dame sponsored the event, which Relay co-chair Kay Stewart said drew an estimated 1,500 to 1,600 participants and 68 teams.

Stewart and co-chair Dee Dee Sterling said this year’s outcome was a success.

“As of the morning of the Relay, we had raised over $100,000, without expenses subtracted,” Stewart said.

Among those present was University President Father John Jenkins, who spoke at Friday’s opening ceremony.

Student Cole Barker and anthropology department chair James McKenna, honorary chairs of the event, also spoke about their own experiences as cancer survivors.

“I really liked the ceremony and speakers,” said Pangborn sophomore Dan-ielle Slatt. “It was very touching.”

The fundraising efforts of Stanford and Farley Halls ranked as the top two among dorm teams, the Notre Dame Relay for Life Web site said.

Chris Rohrs of the Stanford team, which raised an estimated $3,700, said he was grateful for the support from family and friends.

Freshman and Farley team captain Jennifer Melillo said she wished more students had participated.

“It was an awesome night for a good cause, but the turnout was a little disappointing,” Melillo said. “Given that the University has 8,000 students, it was a big turnout, but it could have been bigger.”

Melillo said the team of 25 Farley girls raised a total of $2,160 in online donations and close to $300 in cash or checks.

Welsh Family sophomore Kate Corcoran praised event coordinators for the atmosphere they created.

“There was music playing on loudspeakers, pumpkins to paint, smores to make at a campfire,” Corcoran said. “The atmosphere was very cool, with a red carpet leading up to Stepan and luminaries lining the walking path that people had decorated in memory of those affected by cancer.”

While Corcoran was there to support the “fabulous cause,” she met one student who walked out of necessity.

“I talked to someone who said he was going to be there all night long, in a frantic attempt to get his ResLife hour quota filled before Fall Break,” Corcoran said.