COM Grads Raise Funds for Relay For Life

From left to right: Ivy Chen, Alex Villanueva, Sucharita Mukherjee, Ke’ara Hunt

On Monday, April 9, a team of four COM graduate students got together in the lobby of the College of Communication and sold baked goods to raise funds for COM’s Relay For Life team. The table was full of sweets. From cookies to lemon bars to muddy buddies to brownies, all goods were priced for a college budget (between one and three dollars each).

The team of grad students, aptly named “Team We Tried (to COMe up with a clever name),” looked to raise $250 from the bake sale to go toward its fundraising objective of $1,000.

Relay For Life is a team-based fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. Since 1985, thousands of teams in over 20 countries have participated in the 6- to 24-hour event.

On April 21, team members will take turns rounding a track to demonstrate how “cancer never sleeps.” Each team has a fundraising goal to raise awareness and money, and to fulfill the American Cancer Society’s mission to “save lives and celebrate life. Every day.” Donations from Relay For Life are used to fund cancer research, patient support, prevention and education, and detection and treatment programs. Last year, Relay For Life raised $406 million to fund cancer research grants.

Alex Villanueva, one of the members of the COM team, said the group decided to raise funds with a bake sale because as students themselves, they know how often college kids “crave a homemade dessert or a quick snack to get them through their long Mondays.”

He also said that because Relay For Life is such a widely known event and because so many people are connected to the cause, “A lot of people understand and are willing to support it, and there’s no controversy” surrounding the fundraising effort. Not only does the bake sale brighten students’ days with a little sugar kick, but the quick Venmo or cash donation goes toward a great cause.

Everyone has a different reason for participating in Relay For Life. Villanueva has been volunteering for the event for the past 14 years. His mother, who overcame breast cancer, organized the Relay For Life at his elementary school and it was something he continued to do every year since.

Sucharita Mukherjee, the Relay For Life committee chair, has participated in Relay For Life for the past six years and is driven by the American Cancer Society’s mission “to create a world with more birthdays.”

By the end of the day, Team We Tried (to COMe up with a better name) sold all of its baked goods and surpassed the goal of $250 to hit $300 even. Not only did students participate in the bake sale, but many of COM’s own staff and administrators made donations–such as Sarah Amell, the department administrator for mass communication, who gave the team the last dollar it needed to meet $300.

Relay For Life takes place on April 21, and anyone can join the team of COM grads to raise awareness and funds for future cancer research. Students can apply online or register at the event.



Fiona Martin, Staff Writer

Fiona Martin is a senior at Boston University’s College of Communication studying public relations. Currently involved in PRLab, she hopes to pursue a career in media/entertainment after graduation. In her spare time, she enjoys long runs, good comedy, and dogs with jobs.

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