Doane's Relay for Life Tops Colleges Nationwide in Fundraising

relay for life 2Doane College has been named first in per capita fundraising for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life fundraiser. The college was first out of all colleges and universities nationally with an enrollment of 1,000-2,999 students.

This year's Relay Co-Chair Nick Lukens said the committee was elated to receive the news.

When the event began at the college in 2002, participants raised $11,600 for cancer research. Last year, Doane's Relay brought in almost six times that amount at $65,790.

The fundraiser began at 6 p.m. on Friday April 8 and concluded at 6 a.m. Saturday morning earlier this year.

"It really sends you through a lot of emotions all night," Lukens said.

Lukens said the luminaria ceremony was extremely emotional, where candles were lit to honor the lives of lost loved ones, and that the "fight back ceremony", the final lap, had participants pumped up and ready to fight cancer.

"It's basically an all-night party to fight cancer," Lukens said.

He said the teams become extremely competitive the night of the event. One of the more popular events during the night is the jail-and-bail, where students pay money to put other students into jail, and they have to raise twice the money to get out. Lukens said this activity had been fuel for students to put their Residence Directors in jail, their friends or even entire Greek pledge classes.

Next year's fundraiser will be held on April 13, 2012. Doane College hopes to set a new record for itself by raising $75,000.

Lukens said the committee wasn't wasting any time to reach their goal.

"This year, we've decided to start early and really get the ball rolling in the fall," Lukens said.

Plans for fall events have included "pass the bucket" at different sporting events, a no-shave November competition and a possible collaboration with Noodles & Company.relay for life

To sign your team up for April's fundraiser, contact or

Relay for Life, founded in 1986, is an event created to raise money for cancer research and resources for cancer patients. The event is a place to find healing, comfort and support from others dealing with cancer in all aspects, according to the Relay for Life site.

Each year, teams gather at schools, parks and other locations to take turns walking or running laps. Every team keeps at least one member on the track at all times. This event remembers the lives lost to cancer, celebrates survivors, and raises money to support the American Cancer Society.

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