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Published 4/1/03
Owens Community College Relay for Life Raises Over $20,250 in Support of Cancer Research

More than 250 faculty, staff and students and area residents walked the night and early morning away in support of cancer awareness as Owens Community College recently hosted Relay for Life. The 15-hour walking-journey for 21 participating teams resulted in the College raising over $20,250 to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Cancer survivors complete their ceremonial first lap as part of the Opening Ceremony for Owens' inaugural Relay for Life. Owens’ inaugural Relay for Life served as the kickoff event for more than 300 similar cancer fundraising initiatives, which will occur throughout Ohio in the coming months. The event also marked the first time that a college or university in Northwest Ohio has partnered with the American Cancer Society to host a Relay for Life.

"Owens Community College is extremely proud to collaborate with the American Cancer Society and assist in the organization’s on-going efforts to make a difference in the fight against cancer," said Brian Paskvan, Owens Executive Assistant to the President and Co-Chair of the Relay for Life Committee. "This year’s Relay for Life was a huge success and offered a unique opportunity to honor and celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. Hopefully the proceeds raised from this event will go along way in finding a cure for this terrible disease."

Established in 1985, Relay for Life was created to offer communities a unique, empowering and fun way to assist in the fight against cancer. Today, as the American Cancer Society’s signature event, approximately 3,800 communities and eight countries participate in the cancer awareness fundraiser.

Among the many highlights of the event included a tribute to those individuals in attendance who have survived cancer. Approximately 25 survivors together took part in a ceremonial first lap while cheered on by family, friends and Relay for Life participants.

One of the survivors who participated in the ceremonial first lap was Owens student Kristina Becerra of Toledo. According to Becerra, being a part of an event such as the College’s Relay for Life was very emotional because it reminded her of life’s preciousness, and how in the blink of an eye everything can be taken away.

"Cancer is an illness that can affect any one at any time," said Becerra, a sophomore majoring in biology. "The only way a cure will be found is by area communities continuing to support cancer research, prevention and awareness through these type of events. Hopefully one day people won’t have to fight this deadly disease."

The American Cancer Society is the leading nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service. The organization also is the largest not-for-profit source of cancer research funds in the United States, investing more than $2.3 billion in an effort to find a cure.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 24 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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