This weekend DeSales University will host its 10th annual Relay for Life. Exactly 10 years ago, students partnered with the American Cancer Society (ACS) for the first ever Relay for Life at DeSales University on the weekend of April 21 and 22, 2006. This event raised over $17,000 and would start a tradition with students, faculty and other members of the community participating every year in an effort to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
This article was originally published in Issue 14, Fourtieth Year of The Minstrel (May 9, 2006). The full text has been re-published and edited only for grammar and punctuation.
Relay for Life Really Successful Raises $17,000 (2006)
By Steph Halinksi
Rainy and cold weather didn’t stop students from participating in the first annual American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life of DeSales University on Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22.
Students, faculty and other members of the university community who participated truly took a stand against cancer. In the overnight event to raise awareness and funds for cancer, teams set-up tents and walked around the campus sidewalks for 18 hours.
By Saturday morning, participants had raised $17,072.73—the second largest amount ever raised for a first time Relay.
“I’m still in shock,” says junior Janna Felmeth, co-chair for the Relay of DeSales. “When we started planning this , we never thought we’d meet with the dedication, excitement and success we did.”
Felmeth and co-chair Caitlin Walters, along with Team Development chair Katie Hayes, brought the idea to Jaime Gerhart, Director of Social Outreach, after participating in the Relay at Temple University.
Plans to host Relay at DeSales quickly caught on with students. By the start of Relay, more than 170 people registered to walk and nearly 20 teams were formed.
While walking, teams joined in a variety of activities at Relay. Besides goofy games like “Team Pyramid Building” and “Juice Pong,” an inspiring luminaria ceremony reminded participants of the importance of Relay. Candles in white bags, with the names of loved ones who are fighting or have lost the battle to cancer, lit up the walking path after sunset. Near Trexler Library, a series of luminaria spelled out “hope” when viewed from a distance.
“It was touching to see luminaria made by children for their lost loved ones,” says Jonathan Kensy, a junior who attended Relay. “It makes you realize how cancer can affect all ages.”
“For many, like junior Amanda Fabrizio, Relay took on a personal meaning. “Although the weather was cold and wet, it was well worth it. My neighbor lost his battle to leukemia in February. He was only 25, and we grew up right across the street from each other. He was like an older brother to me.”
With such a successful first-time Relay, student coordinators, like Felmeth, can’t wait until next year. “It makes me so happy to see the community we’ve formed on campus. We had such a wonderful mix of people at the event and I hope that we can continue to spread the word on campus and make each Relay bigger and better than the next.”