The final month of the school year is often one of the most hectic times for any Penn Stater. As Relay For Life 2017 Executive Director Kirsten Borsos and the rest of the team know, busy an understatement — the end of the spring semester means putting the final touches on one of the biggest philanthropy events of the year.
Relay for Life is a charity that benefits the American Cancer Society. Each year, Penn Staters have the opportunity to participate in the event right on campus. Those who wish to participate are welcome to make a donation, sign up for Relay for Life as an organization, or build their own team.
For Borsos, one of her favorite parts about getting involved in Relay For Life is watching a single event bring an entire community together for one cause. The event is open to anyone, and the inclusive environment helps bridge gaps between students, staff, and the rest of State College.
“It’s a way to get everyone involved,” Borsos said. “We even have a bunch of staff members and community members involved in our Relay, and I think that’s something that’s really special.”
From the moment Borsos set foot on campus, she knew she wanted to get involved in something that would allow her to give back. She enjoyed participating in a THON org among other activities. When a friend told her what Relay for Life was all about, she knew she had to find a way to be a part of the cause. From that moment on, getting involved in Relay for Life has been nothing but rewarding.
“I had a friend who introduced me to Relay through our THON organization, and I just fell in love from the very beginning,” Borsos said.
Though participating in Relay for Life has been one of the best parts of Borsos’ college career, heavy involvement in the cause doesn’t come without a few challenges. Like many other events on campus, one of the hardest parts of getting the community to participate is simply letting students know it’s there in the first place.
“I think the most challenging part is just getting the word out there,” Borsos said. “There’s even so many people I’ve met over the past four years that have said, ‘I’ve done Relay all my life at home and then I came here and didn’t even realize we had one.'”
However, the Relay for Life team has come a long way in terms of facilitating event outreach. The group has garnered support from THON captains and various student groups on campus, and participation in Relay for Life at Penn State grows each year. One of Borsos’ main goals is to ensure Relay for Life takes place at the HUB consistently — that way, Penn Staters can look forward to participating in the event in a more central location.
“My main goal is establishing our permanent home at the HUB, and I think that just would just establish us more as an organization and a campus-wide event,” Borsos said.
Relay for Life 2017 will take place from Saturday, April 8 at 2 p.m. to Sunday, April 9 at 2 p.m. on the HUB lawn. For more information on specific events and how to get involved, visit the event Facebook page.