Hope College’s student-organized 2014 Relay For Life program recently received three awards through the 2015 American Cancer Society Relay For Life Nationwide Awards and Recognition Program.

The 2014 Hope program, which was held on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 14-15, last year, received a Nationwide Per Capita Award and a Lakeshore Division Heart of Relay Award, and the college’s chapter of Mortar Board received a Nationwide Team of Excellence Award.  The awards were announced during the 2015 Relay For Life Lakeshore Division Leadership Conference for volunteer leaders in Michigan, held in Grand Rapids on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Hope received a Nationwide Per Capita Award for a population of 2,500-4,999. The award is given to the top five per capita collegiate and high school events in each enrollment category (six for collegiate) based on net income from American Cancer Society records and school enrollment.  Hope had a total of 3,433 students last year.

Hope College’s 2014 Relay For Life program received the Lakeshore Division Heart of Relay Award for Survivor Engagement. Heart of Relay Awards are presented in a variety of categories to community, collegiate, and youth events that demonstrate successful practices, innovations, programs and activities that further the American Cancer Society’s mission and the Relay For Life movement.  The Relay For Life of Hope College’s activities on behalf of cancer survivors included a banquet during the college’s Relay For Life event and student Relay teams taking part in the adopt-a-survivor program through which they host registered cancer survivors and spend time getting to know them.

The Team of Excellence Award is presented to all collegiate and high school teams that raise $15,000 and above.  The college’s Alcor Chapter of the Mortar Board honorary society has consistently been the top fund-raising group during the Hope event, raising more than $19,500 last year.

Relay For Life, nationwide, features more than 6,000 events around the world to raise funds for research, education, advocacy and service in the fight against cancer.  The events are organized, overnight community fund-raising walks during which teams of people camp out around a track, with team members taking turns walking around the track amid food, games and activities that provide entertainment and build camaraderie.  The Lakeshore Division includes all of Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.

The college’s 12-hour Relay For Life has been organized annually since 2003 and is held at the Dow Center.  Hundreds of students participate in the college’s Relay For Life each year, with more than 650 participating last year.  The 2014 event’s 34 teams included a variety of student organizations, as well as groups representing academic programs, residence halls and others who banded together specifically on behalf of the event.

The 2014 Hope Relay raised $61,523.  The event’s 12-year total for 2003-14 is more than $515,000.

The college’s 2015 Relay For Life will take place on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 13-14, beginning at 7 p.m.  Members of the Hope campus community who would like to participate as a team or anyone who would like to participate as a survivor may learn more by visiting relayforlife.org.