UB Relay for Life raises over $37,000 for cancer


Pricilla Snider started out as a team member for Relay for Life and continued to get more involved every year.

In February of 2012, she was hit with a serious diagnosis – esophageal cancer. Suddenly, she was on the other side of the event as someone who was fighting the battle, rather than just supporting others who do.

Part of the Relay for Life event is celebrating those who have survived, as Snider, now a Relay for Life committee member, was the honoree survivor for the night at the annual UB Relay for Life event in Alumni Arena Saturday.

“I always tell people it’s a great family event,” Snider said. “It brings the community together.”

Relay for Life is a national fundraising event by the American Cancer Society to raise money to fight cancer, increase cancer awareness and celebrate cancer survivors. UB Relay for Life saw 67 teams and 1,096 people participate and raise $37,882 from 12 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday in Alumni Arena. Throughout the night, there were events including a scavenger hunt, a Zumba class and performances from groups like the dance team Crossfyah. Fraternities and sororities made up a large majority of the teams.

Last year’s event raised more than $52,000 and saw nearly 400 more participants.

Although the event went until 2 a.m., the gym was nearly empty by 9:30 p.m. This time marked the mandatory 75 percent attendance requirement for the event – so nearly all of students left to enjoy their Saturday night.

“It’s nice that everyone came and raised money, but it’s disappointing that so many people left early,” said Dan Wright, a junior political science major, at around 9:30 p.m. “It cleared out and there’s still another five hours left.”

Though many left early, teams like Alpha Epsilon Pi raised money for the event all year. Alpha Epsilon Pi member Josh Grove raised the most money as an individual – more than $1,000.

Missy Stolfi remembers listening to Coldplay's “Fix You” while walking a darkened track, watching the luminaries that lined the outside glow in spite of the darkness at her first Relay for Life event.

Stolfi, who helped to organize UB Relay for Life event, feels fortunate to have stayed so close to the organization.

“I meet new people every day who are impacted by cancer,” Stolfi said. “I meet people who are finding different ways to take action.”

Stolfi started out like many others, as a volunteer, and slowly became more involved in the organization because she liked the cause.

Those who participated in the event had stations where they set up tables to sell items and food to raise money. UB occupational therapy students set up a virgin margarita station while others sold Paula’s Donuts.

Tyler Beerse, a sophomore architecture major and member of Sigma Chi Omega, sat at the Paula’s Donuts table and tried to support his fraternity by selling the treats.

Sophomore communication major Alexandra Furtzaig participated with her sorority Alpha Phi.

“Last year we raised a lot of money,” Furtzaig said. “We all have to be here today, though I personally didn’t raise any money this year.”

For some students, this was the first year they were participating in the event.

Katie Koleda, a senior chemistry major, joined the UB Relay for Life committee because her roommate did it last year.

“It’s really just about remembering those who lost their lives and celebrating all the money we’ve raised,” Koleda said.

The night was a celebration of the amount of money that was already raised and will continue to be raised through August of this year.

Tori Roseman is the features editor and can be reached at tori.roseman@ubspectrum.com.