Brooke Pompeo
Student Writer

When Sarah Goldy-Brown found out Messiah would no longer be involved with Relay For Life, she knew something had to be done.

Goldy-Brown is president of the Public Relations Student Society of America, (PRSSA) at Messiah College. The club gives students the opportunity to work on projects using the skills they learn in class.

“Every year we try to do something that gives back to the community in some way, and we try to integrate professionalism in to what we are doing,” Goldy-Brown said.

PRSSA thought of the idea of making a team for Relay For Life in the fall, but found out the club who organized it, Colleges Against Cancer was no longer in existence. After learning Relay For Life would not be held at Messiah, Goldy-Brown went to PRSSA to see if they could help.

“I wasn’t okay with that, and our officers weren’t okay with that, so we reached out to the American Cancer Society,” she said. “I told them this is going to be a lot of work.”

All of the club members were completely on board and were excited to start the planning.

During the fall, PRSSA held an alternate chapel for people to learn more about Relay and how to get involved. A “Paint the Campus Purple” day was held on February 4 where students wore purple all day in support of the Relay For Life organization and finding a cure for cancer. The club also organized booths for people to get involved.

PRSSA is now focused on forming another alternate chapel on March 11, which will have faculty members speaking on a panel.

“The idea there is to give a face to people who have been affected by cancer, whether they are survivors or caregivers,” Goldy-Brown said.

PRSSA is working on receiving as many donations of monetary and tangible goods as they can before April 17.

“A lot of our focus right now is going out and getting donations,” Goldy-Brown said. “One of the big things we’re pushing is fundraising online.”

Teams can sign up on the American Cancer Society’s website and create their own page to receive donations. Videos and pictures can be included to personalize the page.

“We like the idea of letting people tell their stories,” said John Moulton, junior club member. “Our theme is “Everyone Knows Someone,” so the idea that you know of someone [affected by cancer] and we want to hear how.”

Dr. Nance McCown, faculty advisor for PRSSA stated there are many ways people can still get involved and help in preparation for Relay.

“Students and faculty/staff can form teams or join an existing team, raise funds, and participate in the event,” said McCown. “Every dollar counts and goes toward finishing the fight against cancer.”

McCown and Goldy-Brown both have had family members affected by cancer, so the event is very close to their hearts. Although they have their own connections to Relay, Goldy-Brown emphasizes how important the cause is.

“People shouldn’t think they don’t have a story or don’t have a reason to fundraise,” she said. “The thing with cancer is it could strike any time of life, which is scary. It might not be your problem today but it could be your mom’s problem tomorrow.”

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