Seton Hill University hosted its fourth annual Relay for Life event on Feb. 17. Over $2,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society throughout the week leading up to the event.
Similar to previous years, the event was organized by the Strategic Leadership in Sports graduate class. Each year students from the class analyze the previous year’s events in order to improve and modify the current one.
“The purpose of Relay for Life at Seton Hill is to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society,” said Anthony Eger, athletics graduate assistant at SHU. “Cancer always comes with that negative connotation and tonight we want to make it a positive one.”
“We tried to keep in mind the main mission of the event, which is to raise awareness,” said Eger. “I believe we definitely met that goal. Overall, it seemed that everyone was having a fun time.”
Students and faculty gathered in McKenna gym to participate in various student-organized activities. Athletic teams, campus clubs and other student organizations were encouraged to play their part in the relay by providing games, contests, giveaways and other activities for the night.The Education Club sponsored a SHU trivia game where participants competed against each other using their smartphones in a battle of “Griffin knowledge and pride.”
A newer club to campus, [a]wake, sponsored a pie face booth. Students could pay to pie their friends (or foes) in the face.
Other games and activities such as Dance Dance Revolution, Giant Jenga, spin art and bake sales were also a part of the fun that night.
“My favorite activity of the Relay For Life event was when we did the moment of silence walk to remember those whose lives have been touched by cancer,” said Melissa Carden, a junior psychology major at SHU.
As part of tradition for all Relay For Life events across the nation, the night ended with the Luminaria Ceremony. Luminaries are a way to honor survivors and those who have lost their lives to the battle of cancer.
Throughout the night paper bags were placed along the perimeter of the tracks located on the upper level of the McKenna gym. Names of survivors, those currently battling and those who have lost the battle were written on a bag and candles were placed inside each one. At the end of the night the candles were lit and students and faculty stood in silence to remember and reflect on the lives of their loved ones.
One in three women and one in two men in America will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Relay For Life is meant to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, patient care programs and education and prevention information. In 2015, $150 million donated to the American Cancer Society was put towards possible life-saving cancer research grants.
The American Cancer Society provides funds and conducts research for cancer causes, prevention, treatment and awareness. Studies done by the American Cancer Society have led to groundbreaking research of cancer related causes such as smoking, as well as other facts and figures.
According to the American Cancer Society web page, in 2017, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer-related deaths in the US.
“It was a rewarding feeling to know that I was supporting an amazing organization that works very hard to raise money in order to find a cure someday,” said Carden.