Students get in behind relay

University of Otago students (from left) Lauren Dragovich, of Christchurch, Ellie McDonald, of...
University of Otago students (from left) Lauren Dragovich, of Christchurch, Ellie McDonald, of Nelson, and Tayla Cross, of Christchurch, march past the University of Otago clocktower during the student-led Relay for Life at the university last night. Photo: Peter McIntosh.
More than 1000 students turned out to  support the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life last night.

In the only student-led Relay for Life event held in New Zealand, University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic students and staff  set out to walk and run  around the University of Otago’s clock tower from 6pm last night to 6am this morning to raise funds for the Cancer Society.

More than $70,000 had been raised by the students before last night’s event even got under way, organiser Georgia Mayer said.

"We would absolutely love to get to $100,000 and we are well on our way there," she said.

"I’m so proud to be a student right now."

There was a good turnout despite drizzly and cold conditions, and those in the relay were all smiles.

"It’s kind of similar to last year as far as numbers go, but as far as money raised, we have completed exceeded all expectations, which is incredible," Miss Mayer said.

All funds raised would go to the Otago-Southland division of the Cancer Society and be used within the local community.

"Cancer has an impact in so many people’s lives, including many students and staff here in Dunedin," Miss Mayer said.

"It’s great to see so many of them joining together to celebrate and remember our friends and family who have had a cancer diagnosis."

The central campus resembled a carnival as bright lights shone and disco balls reflected on to the tents pitched on the lawn in front of the clocktower.

At midnight the participants were planning to hold  a candle ceremony and the event was due to end  with a closing ceremony at 6am today.

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