computer screen displaying virtual Relay for LifeThe University of Windsor’s first-ever virtual Relay for Life event raised $18,288 — and counting — for cancer research.

Virtual Relay for Life raises more than $18,000 for cancer research

The University of Windsor’s first-ever virtual Relay for Life event, March 26, raised $18,288 — and counting — for cancer research.

The annual effort engages the campus community to raise funds in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. Fundraising efforts take place throughout the year leading up to the actual event each year in March.

After the 2020 Relay for Life final event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, co-chairs Sarah Columbus and Carley Elder and the Relay for Life committee made the decision to host the event virtually.

“We had an all-star committee,” says Cindy Crump, director of the Student Success and Leadership Centre. “They worked tirelessly over the last several months to get to this point, adapting and adjusting to constantly changing restrictions, and I had no doubt that they would be able to put together a wonderful event.”

With more than 100 registered participants, the virtual event took place over Zoom and included a survivor ceremony, meditation, yoga, Zumba, musical performances, a luminary ceremony, and more.

Special guests included UWindsor student Erica Bailey, a Relay for Life committee member and childhood cancer survivor, and Chantelle Bacon, co-founder and co-owner of the Fight Like Mason Foundation.

During the event, Concurrent for the Cure was crowned the top fundraising team for raising more than $2,200, with Ed Socs Out Cancer, representing the Education Society, close behind with a total of $2,030 raised.

The top individual fundraiser was Lauren Keller, who brought in almost $1,500.

To date, the University of Windsor Relay for Life has raised more than $118,000 towards cancer research, but the event goes beyond just the fundraising, says Columbus.

“It is an event that unites a collective of Canadians who are a force for life in the face of cancer, allowing participants of all ages to come together and celebrate the survivors in our communities, who send a powerful message of hope for those living with the disease, while also honouring and remembering those we’ve lost to cancer,” she says.

Donations to this year's Relay for Life program are still accepted at

Interested in getting involved with next year’s Relay for Life? Email

—Sarah Hébert