Relay for Life draws more than 700

The American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life welcomed 44 teams and 731 registered participants Saturday to raise money for developmental research.

In addition to the $35,210 raised, teams also sold baked goods and sports drinks.

The relay usually takes place from sunset to sunrise, but Saturday’s event took place from 2 p.m. to midnight at Cobb Stadium due to an evening noise control agreement with Coral Gables.

Out of the university’s four years participating in Relay for Life, this is the second year it has been hosted on campus.

“It is an important thing for students to feel empowered to have this event on their own home field,” said Donna Lundy, a member of the University of Miami Sylvester Center’s head and neck cancer team. Lundy also praised this year’s co-chairs, Marli Deleon and Jeff Brown, both seniors, for coordinating the event.

Aside from Frisbee and dodgeball games, live music and dancing, Brown said the most anticipated event of the day was the luminaria ceremony – the “Ceremony of Hope.” As the sun set over the site, the luminaria bags, which honor those who have fought or died from cancer, were lit. The bags were decorated with special notes and handmade drawings.

The Relay for Life committee is trying to start a College Against Cancer chapter at UM to raise cancer awareness year round.

Andrew Boysen, a sophomore and community representative for the American Cancer Society, said they hope to make the organization more prominent on campus.

“The goal is to make Relay for Life a year-round perspective,” he said.

Jillian Moran may be contacted at and Ashley Minelli may be contacted at