Relay for Life prepares to celebrate tenth anniversary at Saint A’s
March 29, 2017
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Last year, Relay for Life raised about 97,000 dollars for cancer research. Relay for Life will be celebrating its tenth anniversary on campus on April 7. In honor of this anniversary the school the organizers hope to raise 100,000 dollars. To date they have raised approximately 40,000 dollars and are hoping for a last-minute push of donations.
Relay for Life is an American Cancer Society fundraiser. It was started in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington, and has since grown massively. Each year about five thousand events take place all over the world. It was started at Saint Anselm ten years ago in honor of Sister Pauline, a member of the community who lost her life to cancer years ago. The event takes place in the Carr Center and includes food, dances, as well as moving speeches.
The event is sponsored and organized by the five service societies on campus: Seton Society, Red Key Society, King Edward Society, Alphi Phi Omega, and Koinonia Society. Each group nominates a number of students to be a part of the board that organizes the fundraiser. One of the co-chairs of the event is senior Courtney Puccio, president of the Seton Society.
Puck told The Crier she is very excited to participate in her third Relay for Life event. “Relay is probably one of my favorite things about Saint Anselm,” Puccio said. “It’s a great way to see what we as a college campus can accomplish. There’s so many games and events going on over the course of the night. I also like the emotional pieces of it, getting to know some students on a deeper level, and the honoring of survivors and those who have lost their battle is a key part of it.”
Last year one of the speakers at the event was junior Nicole Francischelli. A month before starting her sophomore year, Francischelli lost her father to cancer. At the event, she spoke about her personal journey with her dad, and how cancer has affected her life. Her speech talked about her time as a caregiver to her father, and what it taught her. She talked about time, and how people should enjoy the simple things in life.
“It was really meaningful,” Francischelli said of her involvement with Relay for Life. “It made you feel like you weren’t alone in the situation. It definitely brought a lot of hope. Best night of my college career.”
Francischelli created her own Relay for Life time last year in honor of her dad, the Dirt Dogs. She said she hopes to be one of the top teams to raise money for the event.
This year, senior Jordan Ouellette will be one of the two students speaking at this year’s opening ceremonies. Ouellette is a member of the Koinonia society, and was nominated by her peers to speak at the event. Ouellette will be speaking about her mother, who passed away in 2015 due to cancer. She said she also plans on being a part of the Koinonia team as well.
“I think this is a really good way of educating people, but also having a good time raising money, and making sure we all know what we’re there for because unfortunately cancer does affect so many people,” Ouellette said. “It’s definitely the best event on campus. Every year I look forward to it. It is a really fun environment, but with a serious message for what we’re there for.”
In addition to the relay there are other events that will take place. Participants will be able to donate their hair to cancer patients. There will also be a dance, and the popular luminaria walk. The luminaria is when people can decorate paper bags to honor those who are fighting cancer, or who have lost their lives. Then, the bags are placed around the car center with lights in them. The participants are then allowed to walk and honor those who have been affected by cancer.
Both Ouellette and Francischelli said that the luminaria is one of their favorite moments of the event, as it allows for a respectful moment for those who they’ve lost.
The opening ceremonies of the event begin at six on April 7, and the event will continue into the next day. Any one is welcome to come and contribute. The teams range from sports teams, to college clubs, and even personal teams like Francischelli’s Dirt Dogs. Every donation will help the school get closer to its goal, and most importantly help someone currently struggling with cancer.