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1st Suffolk Led Relay For Life

Suffolk University had their first ever student-run Relay For Life team this past weekend. The team was open to all the members of the Suffolk community, meaning both students and faculty could join. The team, the Suffolk Rams, is organized by Suffolk’s only fraternity: Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The team is captained by fraternity brother and Suffolk senior Kien Nguyen. It was Kien’s idea to have a team at the relay in the first place.

The Relay For Life is the most important cancer walk charity event that is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. It is a 24-hour cancer walk that takes place in a town, city or a university’s local track or gymnasium. Teams of people get together and raise money for cancer research and awareness.

“We were thinking of a way to engage the Suffolk community while doing community service and this is one of the ideas that came through,” says Nguyen.

The event was from April 13th to the 14th and it took place in the Boston University Track and Tennis Center. To kick off the event, cancer survivors gave speeches and afterword, the survivors walked with their friends and family in the opening lap.

Throughout the event, students walk on the track, participate in raffles and activities, (such as midnight dodgeball), and enjoy some entertainment from other students. Suffolk graduate student Robby Binnall was happy to see Suffolk University participating in this year’s Relay.

“I used to go the Relays as a child, so now that I am in Boston it was a great opportunity to know that Suffolk was getting involved,” Binnall said.

Suffolk students and faculty have their own reasons for walking in the Relay For Life; either because their friends and family were effected by cancer, they love what the relay stands for, or they just want to participate with the rest of the Suffolk community.

Keith Waak, a Residence Life director at 150 Tremont explained, “My grandfather has lung cancer, and he’s currently going through chemo and things like that. So, I try to donate as much of my time and energy and monetary needs that I possibly can to help him fight cancer.”

Sarah Waddle, a Suffolk freshman, added, “I relay just because I love the organization itself… so any opportunity that I have to go out and do it… whether it’s with Suffolk or not… I will be there anyway.”

No matter the reason to relay, Suffolk students and faculty come together for one common cause: to ultimately have more birthdays in the world by raising money.  It is an inspirational event for those who participate, and an emotional event for those who have lost loved ones to cancer.

By the end of the event, the Suffolk Rams were able to raise over $5,000 towards cancer research and more than 50 students participated in the event.

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