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NKU community helps raise $20,900 for cancer research during Relay for Life

NKU students, faculty and staff helped raise $20,900 during the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life that was held on campus last weekend.

After getting donation pledges from family and friends, 410 volunteers on 28 teams walked from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday to raise money for cancer research.  

“The NKU community really united to make this event a success,” said Brooke Ball, volunteer co-chair for Relay for Life. “The funds raised by this community will help the American Cancer Society create a world with more birthdays.”

NKU students made up a large portion of the volunteers who took part in the relay. One of them was Matthew Werner, a 22-year-old business management major who was the top individual fund-raiser with more than $700 in pledge money.

Werner said most of his pledge money was raised at a roller skating benefit prior to the relay with Alpha Tau Omega fraternity donating almost $400.

“This amount of money was definitely not raised by just myself,” Werner said. “I had a lot of help from other NKU students who believed in the benefit of Relay for Life as strongly as I did.”

The College of Health Professions, led by academic assistant Jackie Marsala and faculty member Erin Robinson, was the top fund-raising team with more than $3,700 in pledges. One of the 45 walkers on that team was Dr. Denise Robinson, the dean of the college.

“Like most people, we all have friends and family affected by cancer so there was great motivation to participate,” said Dr. Robinson. “My sister is a breast cancer survivor and I have had others in my family who have had cancer. I wanted to pay tribute to them and support the efforts of the college.  It was invigorating and awe-inspiring to be a part of the event.”

One of the student volunteers walked the campus course wearing a button with a picture of her grandson, who was a victim of cancer.  Dr. Robinson said faculty members currently involved in their own battle against the disease also took part in the 12-hour fund-raiser.

NKU President Geoffrey Mearns showed his support by joining the walkers during one part of the relay on campus.

“I am very proud of our students, faculty and staff for their outstanding participation in NKU’s Relay for Life event,” Mearns stated.

“I had the chance to walk with some of the students and personally congratulate them on their accomplishment," he added. "I also had the opportunity to visit with the many cancer survivors who participated in the walk and who the students honored. It was a terrific evening full of celebration and hope. And it demonstrated just how special Northern Kentucky University’s students are and what we can accomplish when we come together as a university community.”    

Relay participants for College of Health Professions
President Mearns, left, with College of Health Professions volunteers Carrie McCoy, center, and Kyle Haverbusch.
Parade for cancer survivors

Donations are still being accepted

Donations to the Relay for Life at NKU are still being accepted. For more information, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit this website: