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Smith Students Help Raise Funds for Cancer

Several Smith houses joined groups from other area colleges late last month in the Relay for Life 2007, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.

The fifth annual Relay for Life, which involved more than 2,100 students from the Five Colleges, raised $170,000 for cancer research and local patient services. The students walked through the night of April 24 to help raise the funds. About 500 luminaria were lit throughout Northampton in honor of cancer victims and survivors.

“The Five College area community really showed their spirit," said Traci Heath, Community Executive for Development for the American Cancer Society. “We had 151 teams including students from Amherst College, UMass-Amherst, Smith College, Hampshire College, and Mount Holyoke College. It was very touching and emotional for all of us. I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of everyone who helped make this Relay such a successful event."

The Relay For Life of the Five College Area is an all-night community event bringing together teams of families, friends, religious organizations, neighborhoods, and businesses -- all with the same goal of curing cancer. Teams of walkers keep a continuous pace throughout the night, walking in shifts to raise funds. Meanwhile, a full agenda of entertainment, including music, team fund-raising activities, fun theme laps and contests keep them energized.

The Five College Relay for Life is part of an international effort that brings together millions of people to raise money to help prevent cancer, save lives, and diminish suffering from the disease. In 2006, 3 million people participated and 500,000 cancer survivors walked the opening laps.

Participating Smith houses included Albright, Chapin, Comstock, Cushing, Gillett, Jordan, Lamont, Morris, Morrow, Northrup, Park, Talbot, Tyler and Wilson, as well as student groups from the Campus Center, EKTA, and swimming and diving team.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem through research, education, advocacy, and service.

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