Everybody knows how awesome Relay for Life is at Washington College, drawing on the strength of the community and dedicated volunteers to raise tens of thousands of dollars every year for cancer research—and having lots of fun doing it. But maybe we didn’t know quite how awesome until the American Cancer Society honored the College, which last year ranked among the top five per capita for such events nationwide.
“It’s a huge honor, especially because it’s still a relatively new event at Washington College,” said Julia Foxwell, a representative of the American Cancer Society. She delivered a framed award to senior Emily Evans, last year’s chair, and junior Monica Benitez, this year’s chair. “You are an amazing group to work with, and you taught me a lot.” Foxwell represents the American Cancer Society in this region.
WC was third among the top five schools with fewer than 2,500 students, raising $35.50 per student. In comparison, the most financially successful school in the country, Foxwell said, was the University of Michigan, which raised $8 per student. The award is also significant because Kent County also sponsors a community-based Relay, and having two such events in one relatively small location might diminish their effectiveness. On the contrary, she said. “For this community [the College and county combined] to raise close to $90,000 in one year is an incredible achievement.”
Foxwell spoke highly of Evans, noting that even as the Relay chair in charge of logistics and organization, she still was able to raise $2,900, making her the top individual fundraiser for the event. She also had praise for Dining Services Director Zena Maggitti who answered every request no matter how last minute with, “No problem.”
Mindy Reynolds, chair of the biology department and Relay’s faculty advisor, said that since students began Relay for Life at WC in 2011, the event has raised $202,329 for cancer treatment and research.
“I have enjoyed every moment of working with the students on Relay since it began,” she says. “They should be so proud of the money they have raised for such a great cause.