Students organize Relay for Life, a 12-hour event to raise funds for cancer research, April 25, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-Organized by the Vassar student group ProHealth, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life that raises awareness and funds for cancer research, will be held at Vassar on April 25, 2009.

The 12-hour relay will take place from noon to midnight on Noyes circle, and will feature food from local vendors as well as music by the Hudson Valley band, the Rhodes, and student performers. This event is open to the public-participants can sign up to join a team at The registration fee will be $10 until April 17, after which the fee will go up to $20.

"It's going to be a really fun event," said Jared Augenstein, who heads ProHealth, the student group that is organizing the event. "This is a simple, fun thing to do on a Saturday that doesn't require much effort but goes a long way toward raising awareness."

The event is not a contest to see which team completes the most laps. Rather, the organizers are more interested in getting as many participants as possible to raise funds and promote knowledge about cancer. Participants sign up in teams that consist of eight to 15 people, and each participant is asked to raise $100 in donations before the event.

"The idea of the event isn't just about fund raising for cancer research," said Hannah Rosenblum, chair of the Vassar Relay for Life Committee. "It's also a community event where a community can come together and think about people we have lost to cancer or cancer survivors."

Funds have already been raised for the first Relay for Life held at Vassar. As of April 13, almost $7,000 had been raised with 19 teams and 141 participants signed up.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event, in which participants across the country help raise money and awareness to support the American Cancer Society in its mission to fight cancer.

Gordon Klatt, a doctor from Seattle, started the event in 1985, when he alternately ran and walked around a track for 24 hours to raise funds for the American Cancer Society in memory of patients he treated. He completed 81 miles, raised $25,000 and started a tradition that has become the society's primary fund-raising event.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, April 13, 2009