Letter: Philanthropy events like Relay for Life bring Carleton together

On March 3 and 4, Carleton University Relay for Life will host their namesake 12-hour event in the Field House to celebrate, remember, and fight for all those in our lives that have been affected by cancer. Carleton is a leader in the program—we have raised over $530,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society since 2009 and have held the title as the largest student-run, post-secondary fundraiser in Canada for three years.

I have been a part of this organization for four years now. It has proven to be stressful, time-consuming and at times, frustrating to be a part of. And, every year by January I tell myself that I will never do this to myself again, and that it’s too much. But then I’m at the event, and I see over 700 Carleton students coming together for a dry all-nighter to support this cause.  The minute they unveil our grand total at 7 a.m., all the sleep-deprived and over-exhausted students are reanimated as Carleton has managed, yet again, to raise an enormous amount of money for cancer research—these moments bring me back.

I cannot say enough great things about Carleton’s Relay campaign. Not only is it an amazing cause that gives back to our community and families—not only is it a cause that everyone can directly or indirectly relate to—but it demonstrates the power of the Carleton community.

For one night, it doesn’t matter what campus group you are a part of. For one night, we are one community, one cause, and one fight. Relay for Life night is a celebration of our accomplishments, a commemoration of those we lost, a fight for those currently battling cancer, and a symbol of unity—these moments bring me back.

The power of the Carleton community is relentless.

Every year, we push boundaries, thrive in competition and turn impossible figures into surpassable goals. Carleton was the first university to hit $100,000—something that was unheard of in the youth program, and now a goal every university in the program aims to reach someday.

This year, we hope to raise $125,000 for cancer research and that is not possible without the support of every single member of the Carleton community helping us see it through.

For those of you who have attended our event before, get excited for a bigger and better night full of inspiration, remembrance and community. For newcomers, welcome to our Carleton family and be prepared to feel the magic of Relay.

Carleton’s philanthropic community never fails to amaze me. Whether it’s the community’s 2,000 and more volunteers and first-year students busking for Shinerama or raising funds for refugee students to attend Carleton with World University Service Centre, Carleton rallies together to make a difference.

And that definitely shows with how the community comes together for Relay for Life.