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 Cancer Survivor Emelie McFarland Organizing 'Relay for Life' at SRU 

 

SPOTLIGHT

4/18/2003

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

CANCER SURVIVOR EMELIE MCFARLAND ORGANIZING UPCOMING ‘RELAY FOR LIFE’ AT SRU

          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. –Three-time cancer survivor Emelie McFarland, a Slippery Rock University central receiving employee from New Castle, will serve as master of ceremonies for the April 25 opening ceremony kicking off this year’s, 24-hour American Cancer Society “Relay for Life” fund drive being held at the university.

          Organizer and chair of cancer-relate d events over the past four years, McFarland, says the “relay” is held to make more people aware of cancer – including early warning signs – in an effort to reduce cancer deaths. The relay event involves having a team member walking – or running – on the Old Thompson Field Track outside Morrow Field House over a 24-hour period in an effort to raise awareness.

          “Relay for Life” is the signature fund raising program for the American Cancer Society. The campus drive has set a $31,500 goal for this year after raising $26,500 in 2002. Organizers report more than 35, 10+-member teams have signed up for the event.

          “Nearly 50 cancer survivors will be on hand for the opening ‘Survivor’s Lap’ set for 5:30 p.m.,” explains McFarland, noting the opening ceremony includes a presentation of the flag by SRU’s Army ROTC students, the singing of the national anthem along with the presentation of “Amazing Grace” by the New Castle Police Pipes and Drum unit. Students who have helped organize the event will also be recognized, and “Jelly Bean,” (Joseph Stahlman, Jr., facilities and planning, and president of the Zem-Zem Shrine of Erie) will also be on hand.

          “A ‘Luminary Ceremony’ will begin at dusk, and anyone wishing to purchase a $10 luminary at the SGA Bookstore in the University Union is welcome to join in honor of, or in memory of, someone who has had cancer,” McFarland says. Food, games, prizes, music and other entertainment will be provided throughout the 24-hour run.

          Those interested in donating to the program, or interested in forming a relay team should contact McFarland at 724-738- 2609.

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