Stonehill’s Seventh Annual Relay for Life Set for April 9-10
April 07, 2011
Members of the Stonehill community will flock to W.B. Mason Stadium this weekend not to cheer on a Skyhawk team, but to raise funds at the seventh annual Relay for Life. Volunteers will transform the stadium into a hive of activity with tents lining the field as students, faculty, and staff walk to raise money for cancer research.
This year, over 400 people from 47 teams have signed up to participate in the event so far. In addition to a variety of activities scheduled throughout the night, this year's featured speaker will be first-year student Tara Daniels, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 16.
She immediately began treatment and chemotherapy at the Jimmy Fund Clinic and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and although she has been in remission for almost two years, Daniels only stopped chemotherapy in early February.
The chair of this year's Relay at Stonehill is Rebecca Ybarra '12, who has also chaired the last two relays. (Visit here to view a Snapshot from last year's event.)
"Leading this event has changed my life in so many ways. I have uncovered a hidden passion of mine, which is to help those who can't entirely help themselves. This being my third year chairing the event, it holds a special place in my heart, and forever will," says Ybarra, a native of South Dartmouth, MA.
The American Cancer Society sponsors the Relay for Life Program in an attempt to "create a world with more birthdays." In May of 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt began the Relay for Life, known as the City of Destiny Classic at the time, by running and walking around a track in Tacoma, Washington for 24-hours.
Friends, family, and patients paid $25 to join in or watch Dr. Klaat in his overnight quest. In the end, he raised $27,000 that night and circled the track for more than 83 miles.
Today, the United States and 18 other countries participate in Relay like events to raise money for cancer research.
The rules of the Relay are that at least one team member must walk/run on the track during the event, keeping the motto of "cancer never sleeps" in the back of their mind.
Beyond walking, there are three traditions at all Relays that help commemorate those who lost their bouts with cancer and to honor those who fought and won their battle.
Each Relay begins with a Survivors Lap, where cancer survivors circle the track together to celebrate their victories over cancer. At night, the Luminaria Ceremony honors loved ones who have passed because of cancer with a candlelit lap of silence. Lastly, there is a Fight Back Ceremony, where all participants make a commitment to fight against cancer.
Other activities scheduled throughout the event include performances by Stonehill's all-female a-capella group the Girls from the Hill, dancing sensation Randy Jose '12, and singer Bethany Conway '13. Ybarra and Poli also note there will be salsa dancing lessons, a scavenger hunt, bingo and more. To see a full schedule of events, visit here.
Ybarra '12 (pictured left) says this year's main goal is to raise $38,000 and to make the Relay a signature event at Stonehill. As of April 7, over $30,000 has been raised.
Personally, Ybarra hopes to build a strong sense of community through the event.
"I am just thankful that the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life has given me the opportunity to make an impact, not only in my college community, but throughout the nation."
To donate to the Stonehill Relay for Life, visit the Stonehill Relay for Life website here. A credit or debit card is necessary to donate, and there is a $10 minimum donation. All proceeds go towards cancer research. For more information regarding Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.