By Seán McGlone & Megan Palumbo – Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor
Lasell hosted its eighth annual Relay for Life event on Saturday, April 7 in the Athletic Center to support survivors, honor victims, and spread awareness of cancer across campus. Twenty-three teams participated at the overnight event, and the Relay for Life student organization has raised a total of $14,176.19 in donations that will go to the American Cancer Society. Members of the Relay for Life committee shared their stories of how cancer has impacted their lives while survivors walked the first lap around the track. Once the walking began, teams were encouraged to continue doing laps while games and activities took place below. This year’s theme was Disney; games and a karaoke component were structured to emphasize the Disney atmosphere. Relay for Life this year was hosted by sophomores James Kappatos and Kate Kennedy.
At midnight, all teams reconvened in the middle of the Athletic Center for the Luminaria Ceremony. Bags with the names of those who lost their battle to cancer were set up along the track in remembrance of their passing. The lights went out and participants were given glow sticks to symbolize a shining light in the fight.
Junior Emily Harrington says the Luminaria Ceremony is her favorite part of the night. “It is the most powerful event during the night because during this hour, we remember those who have lost their battle to cancer, as well as honor those who are still fighting… it hits home for so many Lasell students in our community,” Harrington said in an email. Harrington serves as the Entertainment Chair for the Relay for Life committee, where she is in charge of planning the activities, creating a timeline, and making sure events run smoothly throughout the night.
For Relay for Life President Megan Croce, this was her last event as an undergraduate. However, she says she is excited to see the other committee members step up to create next year’s event. “My committee was amazing this year. I have a lot of sophomores who are on the committee, which excites me because I know that once I leave there’s going to be enough girls to have all-hands-on-deck and everyone’s really invested in it,” she said.
Croce has been involved with Relay for Life since her freshman year of high school where she attended an event in her hometown of Wolcott, CT. “For a lot of people they relay because of a person. For me it’s not a person, it’s a feeling, so that’s how it started off,” Croce said. “Just being at the event and seeing people who have gone through so much be so positive, it gives me goosebumps just talking about it. It was just an amazing experience.”
Croce says she’s looking forward to participating next year as an alumnus. “I’m definitely excited to come back next year and just see [the committee] excel and see what they put together for next year, but also just to sit back and like play the games,” said Croce.
This year, Relay for Life at Lasell surpassed $100,000.00 in total donations to the ACS. Donations are still being accepted for this year’s event until August 1.