This semester marked the first time that Columbia University College of Dental Medicine participated in Relay for Life. The Class of 2016 organized this event as part of a class philanthropy event and worked all semester to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Fundraising events included two social events, CDM apparel sales, and a bake sale in Hammer Health Sciences Library. On Sunday, April 7th, the fundraising efforts culminated at the Columbia-wide Relay For Life event held at the Columbia University Morningside Campus. From 10:00am-10:00pm, Low Library Plaza was filled with music, games, and hundreds of students raising money to support cancer research and individuals impacted by the disease. The Columbia Dental team raised $3,547 and included 39 team members from both CDM and the pre-dental club on the undergraduate campus.
Throughout the day, speakers shared inspiring stories of their personal struggles with cancer or how their role as a caregiver for a family member or friend had impacted their lives. Team Columbia Dental had its own table, wheretooth-shaped cookies were available for purchase and information about CDM’s Washington Heights Clinic was distributed to promote oral cancer screenings. Some of the day’s entertainment included performances by several CU acapella and dance groups, pie-eating contests, face painting, and more. Class philanthropy co-chair Juliana Ginsberg, who helped organize the event, emphasized the importance of CDM's participation in Relay. "CDM's participation in Relay for Life was a great way to bring attention to the issue of oral cancer as well as bring our 2016 class and entire school together", Ginsberg said.
Thank you to all of the students and faculty who participated in the event and the fundraising efforts - the event was a great success that CDM hopes to continue with in the future!