Colleges Join the Fight Against Cancer

By Shailini Pandya '12 and Annsley McKinney '12, Contributing Writers

For the third consecutive year, Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) will be hosting the biggest fundraising event for the American Cancer Society: Relay For Life. From 10:00 a.m. on April 27 to 10:00 a.m. on April 28, students, staff and faculty will gather at the Pomona Football Field to celebrate survivors, to remember those who have lost their lives to cancer and to fight back against the disease.

A 5C organization, CAC has spent the year preparing for the 24-hour walk-a-thon which symbolizes the continuous fight against the second lead- ing cause of death in the United States. “I relay so that I can have the most impact possible to ensure that no one has to battle with or watch a loved one battle with cancer. I, like most people [who partic- ipate in Relay For Life ], have lost family members and watched other family members struggle with cancer,” Relay Production Chair Caitlin Highland (CMC ’14) said. “I want to help others who face the same thing.”

Claremont’s Relay For Life has successfully raised over $56,000 for the American Cancer Society in past years. Donations from Relay For Life events around the world go toward cancer research, advocacy, education and services for in- dividuals battling cancer. The American Cancer Society has funded 38 Nobel Prize winners and promotes a number of wellness groups, including Camps for Kids, which gives children diagnosed with cancer a summer camp experience, and Road to Recovery, which provides patients with rides to their lifesaving treatments. This year, the Claremont Colleges have the opportunity work as a unified community to contribute to the American Cancer Society’s mission.

Taking off from its promising first year, CAC has since expanded to about 40 committee mem- bers across the 5Cs. The organization is currently led by co-presidents Annsley McKinney (’12) and Shailini Pandya (’12). The Claremont Colleges’ sense of intercollegiate community is strength- ened by student membership from all 5Cs.

This year, CAC kicked off recruitment with their most successful campaign yet. Led by Relay Chair Maddie Hall (CMC ’14) and Publicity Chair Yasamin Soltanianzadeh (’12), the “I Heart Boobs” T-shirt campaign raised awareness about breast cancer this fall. That the neon pink tanks continue to be worn around campus speaks to the success of the fall campaign.

The entire CAC team gets students, faculty and staff involved in Relay For Life by encouraging them to form teams. Teams, consisting of three to 15 participants, sign up online before the event at Every team then fundraises before the event, both online personally and through team fundraisers.

Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back are the three principles of Relay for Life and are honored with three ceremonies that punctuate the relay. Though the event acts as the primary fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, the night of the relay engages with and inspires its participants so that the event becomes more than a simple fundraiser.

On Feb. 21, CAC will be co-hosting a CMS versus Pomona-Pitzer basketball game to raise awareness about Relay. The game will be held at Ducey Gym, and the club will be signing up teams and will be selling pizza at the event. If you are inter- ested in getting Mardi Gras beads in your team’s colors, remember to bring cash to donate to the cause. To show solidarity against cancer, CAC is encouraging all supporters to wear purple to the game.

Because of Relay For Life, the Claremont community is able to unite once a year for a philanthropic effort. Said Hall, “Relay is more than an extracurricular to add to my resume. It’s an organization that I’m personally passionate about. My mom’s experience with cancer inspired me to give back, and Relay is the best way to do that.”

If you are interested in getting involved the Claremont Colleges Against Cancer organization, please email You can sign up a team or donate to the cause by visiting the Relay website at

Co-Hosted by CAC: CMS v. P-P Basketball Game

When: Feb 21 at 7 p.m.

Where: Ducey Gym, CMC

Bring cash or Claremont Cash to buy pizza, Mardi Gras beads in your team colors and more! WEAR PURPLE TO SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER