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Relay for Life Lafayette University of Mississippi Finds Success in Fundraising

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On Thursday, April 7, 2016, the Relay for Life Lafayette University of Mississippi hosted a gala at the Powerhouse in Oxford to help raise money for the American Cancer Society with several Ole Miss Relay for Life teams.

According to the American Cancer Society, four million people come together at Relay for Life events around the world. Money raised at the events goes towards cancer research, providing rides to patients for treatments and lodging costs for patients to name a few.

Sierra Francois, student leader for team Mark’s Angels, and Ann Crider, another student leader, fundraised and banded together with other Ole Miss Relay for Life teams in order to ensure the gala was a success. For Francois this was more than just a gala.

Two years ago, Francois lost her father to Multiple Myeloma Cancer. Francois also lost her godfather to stage four colon cancer during her freshmen year of college.

“I lost my father from Multiple Myeloma Cancer two years ago,” Francois said. “Last night’s event will mark the day before the two year mark for me.”

Fundraising for the event worked through donations, tickets to the event and online donations through the American Cancer Society. The event was under the direction of community manager, Micah Johnson, who works with several local Relay for Life organizations throughout Mississippi.

Photo: To commemorate the passing of her father Mark Francois, Francois set up a luminaria bag. Provided by Sierra Francois.
Photo: To commemorate the passing of her father Mark Francois, Francois set up a luminaria bag. Provided by Sierra Francois.

Members of the committee come up with new fundraiser ideas by observing other organizations events along with other Relay for Life organizations across the country.

“I’m incredibly impressed with the efforts put into this year’s event,” Crider said. “We are changing the typical Relay event and turning it into more of formal/gala type of event.”

To commemorate the passing of her father Mark Francois, Francois set up a luminaria bag, which is a bag lit up by a candle in remembrance of cancer survivors or patients.

“Being able to plan this event from start to finish means everything to me,” Francois said. “It helps me honor my father and godfather; it helps me keep up the fight for everyone who knows what cancer does to their loved ones.”

There were 28 teams involved in this year’s Relay for Life, with over $7,3000 raised.

“Though the event is over, it is never too late to donate,” Francois said. “Donate to Mark’s Angels (Francois’ team); any donation would be greatly appreciated.”

For more information or to continue to donate to the Ole Miss Relay for Life teams, visit main.ascevents.org.


Jasmyn Brown is an intern for hottytoddy.com, and a student at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss. Jasmyn can be reached at jkbrown3@go.olemiss.edu.

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