By Bernadette Launi
Catholic University’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer won the first annual Metro Madness, a competition between area schools over who can have the highest percentage increase in cancer fundraising between February 15th and March 1st. On this end date, CUA’s Colleges Against Cancer was awarded the Capital Cup with a winning increase of 263 percent, more than tripling their original funds.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) created Metro Madness this year to promote camaraderie and healthy competition between the chapters at six local universities: Georgetown University, American University, George Washington University, George Mason University, University of Maryland, and Catholic University. ACS set a goal of $50,000 to be raised between the six schools within the two week span. This number was surpassed with the two week total coming in at $71,000.
“The competition has been very healthy for all of us. We all know we have the same goal in mind,” said Catholic University Colleges Against Cancer co-director junior Lianne Donohue. “Through this competition the individual chapters have learned from each other’s successes and setbacks and sincerely supported each other. I think this experience has helped us grow on the larger scale as representatives of ACS in the DC-area.”
Winning Metro Madness also means that Catholic University will be featured on the back of the ACS shirts given out throughout the D.C. area, increasing exposure for the university’s chapter.
Besides participating in Metro Madness, Catholic University’s chapter of Colleges for Cancer also raised more than $6,900 in two days, exceeding their “48 in 48” challenge to raise $4,800 in 48 hours. This statistic put them on the national radar and eventually landed them a number 10 spot on a national challenge for campus-wide fundraising.
“This is the first time we’ve been recognized on a national level,” said fellow junior co-director Lauren Layton. “I think it is really evidence of how hard everyone has been working in our chapter.”
Coming off of their most successful Relay for Life last year, in which they raised $70,000 and hosted more than 1,000 participants, CUA’s Colleges Against Cancer is expanding Relay for Life this year on April 15th by moving it outside to the University Lawn behind the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center. In years past, the event has been held within the Pryzbyla Center, limiting some aspects of the event due to space. They are hoping this move will draw even greater numbers and interest.
“We have grown so much in the last couple of years that we want to take the event to the next level,” Donohue said. “We are hoping to reach not just the CUA community but the greater Brookland community as well. We are ready for that step.”
Colleges Against Cancer also believes that moving Relay for Life outdoors will add an increased interest and energy to the event. With the traditional “main event” of Relay for Life being 12 hours of continuous walking, moving outside the Pryzbyla Center allows Catholic University’s Relay to make this aspect more of a focus. Colleges Against Cancer hopes this greater platform will allow them to better spread the mission of their organization.
“Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way,” said Layton. “Relay for life gives you the opportunity to connect with someone you maybe usually wouldn’t, because we are all united with the singular goal of finding a cure.”