Most Baruch students will spend Friday night celebrating the end of mid-terms, but one dedicated group will be on campus to participate in another type of all-nighter. Teams of Baruch students will be joined by their counterparts from other CUNY campuses to kick off the all-night CUNY/American Cancer Society Relay For Life walkathon on Friday, March 23. The annual event, a fixture at Baruch for the past three years, promotes cancer awareness while also raising funds for cancer research.
Members of each team take turns to walk around the perimeter track of the Newman Vertical Campus gymnasium for 15 continuous hours. The participants’ arduous efforts represent the fact that cancer never sleeps.
While the cause supported is serious—one out of every three women and one out of every two men are expected to battle the disease at some point in their lives—the event also serves as an all-night celebration for participants, involving singing contests, belly dancing lessons, face painting, and live music.
“We have four bands coming in who have volunteered and each will play for about an hour apiece. We’ve also got date auctions, speed-dating, dodgeball competitions, a bunch of free foodâ€”our goal is to program something for every minute of the fifteen hours,” said Carl Aylman, Baruch’s director of student development.
The night also features a ceremony called the luminaria, during which participants are asked to remember the lives of those who succumbed to cancer and to honor those who survived a bout with the disease.
Aylman, whose wife is a cancer survivor, brought the program to Baruch after seeing a presentation on it by the American Cancer Society. “I thought it was a cool idea, and what’s interesting is that itâ€™s a fun way of developing a service mentality amongst students,” he said.
The event raised more than $77,000 last year—behind only Columbia University and NYU in New York City—and Aylman attributes its success to the enthusiasm of Baruch participants. “The idea is making them a little aware that you do things not for yourself but for other people. It brings people together and engages them in a cause that benefits people.”
For more information on Relay For Life, visit http://www.relayforlife.org/relay/ or call the Office of Student Life at (646) 312-4550.
Office of Communications and Marketing