EASY BEST PRACTICES
Include advocacy updates at your committee meetings, team captain meetings and participant emails.
Play ACS CAN promotional videos at your committee and team meetings for a mission moment. Use the video to tell the ACS CAN story and then ask people to become members.
Back to School Activities Fair — Host a CAC table at your schools back to school or student organization fair. Sign up new CAC members, sign petitions, and recruit ACS CAN members.
INTERMEDIATE BEST PRACTICES
Make your goal BIG! Try to become an ACS CAN Club Relay by recruiting 40 ACS CAN members over the course of your Relay planning year and at your Relay event. Make a VIP tent for people that are ACS CAN members with free refreshments you get donated. Give people access to the tent as an incentive to get them to sign up to be ACS CAN members before or at your Relay For Life.
Participate in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke Out. Add an advocacy component by having students sign petitions to raise the tobacco tax or make your campus a smoke-free campus. Pass out suckers with tobacco facts and give out “Kiss Me, I’m Smoke-Free” stickers.
ACS-CAN Café — Have a tent dedicated to advocacy at your Relay where attendees can fill out petitions, take online action, learn about what is going on in their state legislature, and sign up to be an ACS CAN member.
ADVANCED BEST PRACTICES
Fight Back Ceremony — This is a powerful ceremony that serves to inspire Relayers to take action. Pick a talking point, either a federal campaign, state campaign, or something that may be going on at your school. Encourage participants to make a commitment to save a life by signing a banner, filling out a pledge card, or informing them about the opportunity to attend their State Lobby Day opportunity.
Participant in Your State’s Day at the Capitol — Almost every state has its own lobby day to bring attention to legislation ACS CAN is supporting. CAC members and other students will have the opportunity to share their story with lawmakers.
RELAY FOR LIFE
KICK OFF PRACTICE
- Boston University - We integrated our sports theme by having mini sports tournaments, photo booths, food donated, raffle tables, etc. to raise awareness of RFL on campus. Took place in the student union from 5-8 PM on a Thursday night. Participation was good, and many people stopped by to find out more information or sign up. This was a great example of incorporating the theme of our Relay event into every aspect of the preparation. The theme will draw people in and make them curious as to the actual events of the Relay for Life and seek more information
- University of Georgia - This event right before Valentine's Day is a fun and exciting Date Auction that showcases some of UGA's bachelors and bachelorettes. Student and athletic organizations on our campus pick a representative to be auctioned off on stage in front of our Relay audience. To have a representative be auctioned off, the organization donates money to UGA Relay For Life. This year we had over 30 participants representing over 20 different organizations including 2 UGA soccer players, 2 UGA volleyball players,and one of our UGA football players. The event had over 200 people present. We had stations to write letters to Hope Lodge patients, a food station, and a silent auction station. The participants were introduced with a funny bio of themselves and then asked to perform either a dance or song. In total, we raised over $6,000 in one night. This fundraiser was not only fun and eventful but it is also a way to pull a large community together to help fundraise, raise awareness, as well as write letters of admiration and hope to the hope lodge.
- Villanova - The March Madness Bracket Challenge was a fundraising event for a week in March during basketball playoffs. Because Villanova is such a big basketball school, we wanted to utilize our captive audience of basketball fans for our fundraising purposes. We hosted a table in our main student building and offered students the chance to purchase a NCAA bracket for March Madness. They submitted their basketball brackets to us and we tallied up who won based off of their predictions. In the end, half of the donations went to the winners of the Bracket Challenge and half of the donations went to our cause!
- Northeastern University - We have a google spreadsheet that exists throughout the year. We have it available at all of our tabling events (most advertised at parents weekend) for parents and friends to sign students up to receive cupcakes for birthdays /midterms/finals.
- Carroll University - In the week before Relay we had the lights on the campus quad changed to purpl. We had purple "PAINT THE CAMPUS PURPLE WEEK" stickers for coffee sleeves at the two coffee shops on campus. We worked with dining services to have purple desserts in the cafeteria throughout the week. We had a "Why I Relay" social media campaign We decorated the student union with purple decorations. We had mini advertisements (table tents) at all tables in the cafeteria. We worked with the school marketing department to start a campus wide Purple Day, targeting mainly faculty and staff to wear anything purple the day before Relay. This is a wonderful idea for awareness because for a whole week Relay is being spread across campus through fun inclusive activities for everyone to participate in as well as sharing details about this year's event.
- Thomas Jefferson University - Our event at Thomas Jefferson University was a huge success this year and featured a "Relay Around the World" Theme. Our University is currently making a push towards expanding diversity efforts, and our "Around the World" theme fit perfectly with their mission. We asked that following registration, each team sign up as a "country" to represent at the event. Each team was also asked to organize an on-site fundraiser, make a basket to be raffled off at the event, and to have members prepared to participate in our "Relay Olympic Games" throughout the night. With over 25 teams at the event this year, we had a wide variety of on- site fundraisers including food sales, game stations, art projects, etc. All money raised went toward the event's final total and made for a spectacular evening. This idea is great in showing how a Relay for Life event expands across the whole world and how the fight against cancer expands to all the areas of the earth, even if the ones we can’t see.
DAY OF EVENT PRACTICES
- Loyola Marymount University - During Relay for Life, we handed out purple plastic shot glasses filled with sunscreen every hour. The participants would know when it was time because we would play Shots by LMFAO and they would know to walk the track, get to the stage, and pick up their shot of sunscreen! It was very successful and fun and was a great way to encourage people to wear sunscreen throughout the day and educate them about skin cancer and the dangers of it. Everyone at relay participated. This is a great idea to not only keep everyone involved in the same activities and fighting cancer together, but it also helps to implement the prevention of cancer by also having the enter event use sunscreen to effect the harms of the rays of the sun.
SURVIVOR & CAREGIVER
TOP 5 BEST PRACTICES
1. Host a balloon release: invite survivors to say goodbye to summer by giving them the chance to release a balloon for each year they've been a survivor. Another option for enhancing the activity is to have them write a letter to cancer on their balloons, or allowing caregivers to write messages to cancer on the balloons.
2. Participate in your local Strides event-- it is a great opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors and you can invite them to your other survivor and caregiver events.
3. Light a Tree of Hope to get into the holiday spirit. Find some purple twinkle lights and invite your survivors and caregivers to decorate a tree on campus (evergreen or otherwise) with messages of hope and purple wishes. End the evening by lighting the tree. Other variations include a tree of wishes, where you can invite everyone on campus to write a wish and leave it on the tree.
4. Enjoy the calm before March Madness, and partner with your athletic department to get tickets to a basketball game for your survivors. Bonus points if one of them is able to speak at half time.
5. Host a get together (tea, barbecue, or otherwise) just prior to Relay to get your survivors and caregivers excited about the upcoming festivities!
- Boston College - “Sun Safety Week” : For this activity, we planned tabling events around campus the week before Spring Break. Many of the tabling activities provided information regarding safe habits to prevent skin cancer. To expand our reach, we also painted the mirrors in the Flynn Recreational Complex (our student athletic center) with sun safety tips and had the TVs around the Complex display a sun safety image.
- Cornell University - At every meeting we would spend 10 minutes educating the CAC members about different types of cancer. Any member that wanted to lead this part of the meeting was invited to do so. It allowed for members to gain confidence in their public speaking and leadership skills, as well as for everyone to learn about why we spend so much time planning Relay each year. We would also make them relevant to our other campaigns and cancer education months, such as breast cancer during October and lung cancer during November. In addition we brought in speakers to our meeting to tell us about their cancer story, such as a
- Wright State University - Hosted a blood drive in the student union. Educated people on the need for blood transfusions in chemotherapy patients. This was a very successful event that allowed us to donate blood and educate the campus.
- University of Georgia - We set up outside of the school's student center on our outdoor stage. We showcased a huge map that highlighted maps from Cancer Atlas. These maps allowed students to come by and see what parts of the world experience what types of cancers more often. These maps were a great awareness tool for our campus because it showed the students the prevalence of certain types of cancers in different parts of the world. We also blew up four pictures of four prominent celebrities who had died of cancer. Under their picture and name it showed what type of cancer they had. These pictures were to show our campus that cancer affects all types of people even celebrities and it is something we all need to fight together to end. We also spelled out the word 'HOPE' with luminaria. Finally, we took to social media with a mission-based campaign. In 2015, it was estimated that 1,620 people would be diagnosed in the United States with cancer each day. So, we challenged every member in UGA Relay to raise $16.20 on this day. Our participants went above and beyond posting status with their fundraising pages and speaking on the mission of World Cancer Day. Just in that one day, we raised over $3,000 from this campaign. In total, we had around 200 students stop by throughout the day.
- College of William and Mary - Our chapter thought that it would be helpful to have a major event in which we could approach cancer awareness from different angles, and thus cancer awareness week was born! This event consisted of different activities each day of the week as a means of raising awareness of how cancer affects us in different ways. Monday was centered on "cancer and mental health." We provided free yoga classes for students and provided information on maintaining mental health. Tuesday was "The science behind cancer." We held a discussion board with biology professors to discuss the science of cancer with students. Wednesday was "cancer and healthy living." We asked fitness instructors from the student rec center to come out and teach classes to students, and provided water for students. Thursday was "cancer on a global level." This was particularly exciting because we held a video conference that was open to the student community with a doctor in Uganda, who shared his experience with cancer treatment there as compared to the U.S. For the last day we wanted to end on a fun note, and showed a free student screening of The Fault In Our Stars on campus and provided refreshments for students
- University of Wisconsin Madison - Every year our CAC chapter hosts Breast Fest, a week-long series of events and
activities promoting Breast Cancer Awareness. On Monday, we held a Bros in Bras fundraiser. We had several men from our chapter and a few men from a campus fraternity brave the cold weather and wear no shirt and a bra and stand at a popular area around campus. CAC members were standing with them holding signs and encouraging people to donate money. When the men reached a certain amount raised ($40 minimum) they could put their shirt back on. On Tuesday, we tabled at one of our Unions for three hours. We had information about early detection, prevention, resources and services ACS offers for those diagnosed with Breast Cancer, a fake breast that people could check for and detect lumps in, and some interactive activities for students and staff on campus to learn more about Breast Cancer. That night, we also held a Breast Cancer Panel. We invited a Breast Cancer survivor, researcher, oncologist, support staff from a local cancer support club, and caregiver to speak and share their stories and experience with Breast Cancer. The panelists were very enthusiastic and informative when answering questions. We had a nice turnout and the Panel was very informational. On Wednesday we painted the campus pink! Early in the morning, a large handful of volunteers braved the cold to help us decorate Bascom Hill, a main attraction on campus, as well as the surrounding area. We decorated with chalk, Making Strides signs, many pink cancer ribbons, and posters. We encouraged people to wear pink that day as well. Thursday night, we held a Cup Night/Bar Night Fundraiser at a local bar in Madison. Due to the generosity of students and members of the Madison community, we raised over $600 toward our Relay For Life event this year! On Friday we held a small ceremony and balloon release on Bascom Hill. This was an event to honor breast cancer survivors and remember those we have lost to breast cancer. It was great to see students and staff pause and participate with us in the balloon release. It really made the moment much more special and meaningful. Our Dean of Students also joined us for this ceremony.
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute - We tablesit in our campus center to provide information and an activity regarding testicular cancer. We tablesit with a different fraternity each day of the week. We raise money, get people registered for Relay, and do activities that all relate to a joke about balls lol. Then we have a tournament at the end of the week (Saturday afternoon) that is either dodgeball, kickball, badminton (shuttlecock), or something else ball related. Organizations on campus register teams for a fee and tons of people come to support CAC.