Sept. 29, 2010

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SALISBURY, Md. - In a continual effort to support the community, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Athletic Department once again participated in the annual Wicomico County Relay for Life at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium this past weekend.

Linda Baines, Director of Student-Athlete Services, in addition to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) organized the "Fighting Hawks" team with a "Vintage Throwback" theme.

UMES received an enormous turnout by student-athletes, coaches, staff members, friends and family members who raised money and walked in honor and memory of those who have been affected by cancer.

SAAC set a goal to raise $1,500 with the participation of all Hawk teams and exceeded this goal by nearly $1,000 with a grand total of $2,435.78 going to the American Cancer Society. This significantly exceeded last year's donation of $600.

"This event was a huge success," said Baines. "We have received numerous compliments from on-lookers and were commended by the Relay for Life committee for our spirit and participation."

The event kicked off early Friday evening with a moment of silence for those who lost their battles with cancer. This was followed by a lap by survivors, including bowling head coach Sharon Brummell and others related to UMES.

"I'm always touched by the attendance and fellowship that we have at Relay for Life," commented Brummell. "The whole athletic department supports a cause that is very near and dear to my heart and I am proud that we can help those that are in need on the eastern shore."

The evening also included contests such as a Tastykake-eating competition and naming of Miss Relay. The Hawks were represented by men's tennis junior Osvaldo Rivera (Christiansted, U.S.V.I.), also affectionately known as Ricochet Relay for the night.

"One of my teammates just fought cancer so I really did this for her," said Osvaldo. "It's something that I really took seriously [getting dressed up]. Somehow I ran around in those heels collecting money for Relay for Life. I really couldn't have done it without Mrs. Baines, Coach Brummell and Mrs. Neema Connor as they really supported me and got me excited for the event."



About 20 Hawks staff members and student-athletes stayed the entire night, leaving the campsite and stadium around 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event. It offers everyone in the community an opportunity to partake in the fight against cancer. Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. The relays are an overnight event, up to 24 hours in length.

Overall, the event has brought together more than 3.5 million people to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue the fight and allows everyone to remember loved ones who have been lost to the disease.

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