February 13, 2008

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Hosts Purple Week; Gears up for Relay

VALDOSTA - Departments and groups from Valdosta State University are gearing for the second annual Relay for Life with a variety of philanthropic opportunities and special events, including the first ever Purple Week, planned for Monday, Feb. 18, through Friday, Feb. 22.

The entire VSU community is invited to participate in Purple Week by donning purple attire, registering a team for the relay or participating in events like the Relay for Life Talent Show at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the Bailey Science Center. The show, which serves as the second largest fundraising effort for the relay, will incorporate comedy, dance, singing and more into an entertaining event held to support the American Cancer Society. The largest event, the Relay for Life Ball, was held during fall semester.

Throughout Purple Week, relay team members will be visible at various locations distributing information about the relay, and 365 balloons will be on display across campus to illustrate a statistic that claims three percent of VSU’s population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point. To represent the morbidity of the disease, one day of the week will be deemed a “Blackout” and all team members will be dressed in black.

Other fundraising efforts include a Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction on March 31 and movie night, for which VSU Dining Services has already donated snacks. The newest event, a battle of the bands competition, is being planned. The winner will claim the premier performance at the Relay for Life kick-off celebration. Those interested in entering the competition should contact Rachel Baker, RFL committee chair, at rdbaker@valdosta.edu.

The 2008 VSU Relay for Life, themed “Racing for a Cure,” is an overnight relay with open participation from students, faculty and staff. From 7 p.m. Friday, April 11, until 7 a.m. Saturday, April 12, participants will walk continuously around the VSU front lawn in order to support the anticipated fundraising goal of $50,000 for the American Cancer Society.

More than 140 participants on 20 teams are already registered for the night event, which Baker said should be full of games, food and entertainment. She hopes to have twice as many teams registered by the event, which offers hope, support and encouragement to cancer survivors and the family and friends of victims. VSU community members are encouraged to join a team or registered individually.

“Student support is always very strong at Rely for Life,” Baker said, adding that her primary goal is to encourage more involvement by faculty and staff.

Although not everyone will be able to participate all night, anyone can join for any length of time as the VSU community unites to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost to cancer and those who have survived and to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and prevention. Those interested in registering or receiving additional information should e-mail Baker at rdbaker@valdosta.edu.

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