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College's Relay For Life raises nearly $54K

Members of the Connecticut College community and the larger New London community came together last weekend for a single cause: the fight against cancer. The college held its first Relay For Life event on Friday, April 17, with participants rounding Tempel Green from 6 p.m. until 10 a.m. on Saturday.

All night long, 417 people representing 43 teams took turns walking or running around a designated track lighted with luminarias. Music helped keep the beat, and the green was dotted with tents, food vendors, yard sale items and interactive activities like balloon popping for prizes and raffles. Together, the teams raised nearly $54,000 - surpassing the $50,000 goal set for the event.

"The support that the Connecticut College campus showed its first Relay For Life was a tremendous inspiration," said Jessica LeClair '08, an AmeriCorps staff member with the college's Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS).

LeClair coordinated the Relay For Life event with Thomas Howd '01 and Kelly Hamilton '09, along with an number of students, staff and faculty. "The event was an astonishing example of sustained and successful activism," LeClair added.

Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society's signature activity, offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. To raise funds for the cause, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the overnight event, which can last up to 24 hours in length.

For more information about Connecticut College's Relay For Life, visit

- By Claire Gould '10

April 22, 2009