Overcoming rainy weather and logistic complications, University of South Carolina Relay for Life raised more than $84,000 to support the American Cancer Society.

The student organization’s fundraising campaign culminated Friday night with its annual main event on the university’s Blatt Field. The event returned this year after COVID-19 forced its change to a virtual event in 2020.

“It's been an honor to be president this year, even with everything going on,” said UofSC Relay for Life President Emily Gordon. “Nearly a year ago today, COVID stopped us in our tracks.

One word stuck with us through it all: hope."

Gordon also spoke of the impact of the pandemic on cancer patients and their loved ones, from delayed treatments to increased isolation.

This year’s main event was shortened from the usual all-night version, and participants attended in shifts to allow social distancing, and all wore masks.

Still, the traditions like the survivors/caregivers lap and the luminaria ceremony honoring those lost to cancer and those still fighting continued as before.

The fundraising total stood at $84,751.34 as of Saturday afternoon, with donations still being accepted.

More information on the student organization and the national Relay for Life movement is available at uscrelay.org.

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