Big Awards for Relay For Life events in Eastern Missouri

Volunteer leaders from Saint Louis University and Washington University celebrate their awards.

Nearly 800 volunteers from across six states recently attended the annual Relay For Life Summit, receiving educational information and updated resources needed to implement a successful Relay For Life event in their community.

With the theme ‘Dream Big, Hope Big, Relay Big,’ conference goers participated in various general sessions, breakout sessions and ‘The Experience’, which emphasized how to plan and implement a successful Relay For Life. An awards ceremony was held honoring Relays that achieved success in team development, leadership development, mission integration and fundraising.

Congratulations to the following events in eastern Missouri on their awards:

Thanks A Million: Events reaching over a million dollars cumulatively this fiscal year.

  • Cole County
  • Washington University
  • Franklin County
  • Cooper County
  • Perry County
  • Randolph County

 Top Ten Community Teams                                                                                

  • The Flower Children – $69.433 raised – 2nd overall

Top Youth/Collegiate Teams

  • Team Treasures – Perry County – 2nd overall raising $31.878.00

Rookie Youth/Collegiate Event: Top net income

  • Centralia High School placed 1st raising $29.943.86

Top 10 Community Events

  • Cole County placed 5th raising $335,463.81

Top 5 Youth/Collegiate Events

  • Washington University placed 1st      raising $263,878.83
  • Saint Louis University placed 2nd      raising $133,294.00

Top Online Youth/Collegiate Event

  • Washington University – $216.087.58

High Plains Division Community Per Capita Awards: Determined by population using adjusted census figures and based on the per capita income from all of the Relays in each county

  • Cole County – 1stin their population bucket
    • Population Bucket: 75,000-99,999
    • Raised Per Capita: $4.47
  • Boone County – 3rdin their population bucket
    • Population Bucket: 150,000-249,99
    • Raised Per Capita: $1.79

College Per Capita Awards

Saint Louis University placed 3rd

    • School Enrollment: 8,670
    • Raised Per Capita: $15.56

Washington University placed 4th

    • School Enrollment: 11,967
    • Raised Per Capita: $22.04

All American Award Winner: Event growth and implementation of Leadership Development, Team Development, Event Development, Survivor Development, Fundraising Development

  • Relay For Life of Adair County

Five Star Relay Award Winners:

  • Centralia
  • Kahoka
  • Owensville
  • Shelbina
  • Dexter
  • Warrenton

Relay For Life brings together more than 3.5 million people around the world to participate in a life-changing event, which has raised a total of more than $4.25 billion to fund the American Cancer Society’s mission. It offers participants and attendees the opportunity to celebrate the lives of those that have battled cancer, remember those lost to cancer, and empower individuals and communities to fight back against this disease that takes so much. Dollars raised through Relay For Life help support the American Cancer Society’s mission of eliminating cancer by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.

Summit attendees returned home excited and empowered to ‘Dream Big, Hope Big and Relay Big’ at their events and year-round. For more information about your local Relay For Life visit or call 1.800.227.2345.


American Cancer Society Awards New Grant to Saint Louis University Researcher

New American Cancer Society-funded researcher, Dr. Richard DiPaolo of Saint Louis University.

Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has invested more than $3.6 billion to fund researchers in their work to help discover causes, treatments, prevention and early detection methods for cancer. Today, the American Cancer Society announced numerous new grants nationwide to help find cures and fight back. One of the newest grants is awarded to Saint Louis University’s Richard DiPaolo, PhD., of the molecular microbiology and immunology department. The grant of $720,000 will help research the regulation of gastric cancer in a model of autoimmune gastritis. “I believe my research project addresses important questions that will advance our understanding of inflammation and cancer,” says DiPaolo. 

Another local grant of $40,000 has been renewed for Sarah Bollinger of Washington University. Sarah’s research is focused in young African-American women with triple-negative breast cancer. This brings the total funding from the American Cancer Society to 16 grants in St. Louis at $8,275,000.

DiPaolo has studied inflammation in the stomach and how to reduce it and in turn reduce the risk of developing cancer. He has found that injecting a modified version of a specific type of cell known as a “T regulatory cell” can suppress inflammation in the stomach. This inflammation can be caused by certain kinds of diseases, such asgastritis or colitis. DiPaolo now hopes that with support from this grant he will be able “to determine whether injecting modified T regulatory cells during early, intermediate, and late stages of disease is an effective means to prevent stomach cancer.” 

DiPaolo has also collaborated with Jason Mills, PhD., of Washington University, who is also a current American Cancer Society funded researcher. Their combined expertise gave them an advantage and a unique look at how most gastric cancers are adenocarcinomas, cancers that begin in cells lining internal organs. Working together, they also found how the immune system regulates certain cells during the progression of this type of cancer.

Bollinger’s research will focus on the link between developing the specific subtype of breast cancer and psychosocial factors. She also wants to increase understanding of the population of women diagnosed with this disease and in turn be able to provide more holistic care.

The American Cancer Society’s goal is to eliminate cancer as a major health problem, and this is exactly what these researchers work towards with help from their grants. “Without the support of the American Cancer Society it would be difficult if not impossible to come up with the resources to complete this project,” Dipaolo says. This grant will help him continue his research and understanding of these cells and inflammation in regards to early detection as well as prevention of cancer. “I believe that a better understanding of the immune system and how to manipulate its activity will lead to new treatments and cures for many diseases in the future, including cancers,” Dipaolo says. 

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