Jillian Toce, ’13, News Editor
Over 380 people participated in Merrimack College’s annual Relay for Life event on April 5. Opening speaker Chris Hart ’15 shared the inspiring story of his personal battle with cancer.
According to the college, “The Relay for Life event runs through the night with the notion that ‘cancer never sleeps.’ Teams walk together to celebrate the lives of survivors, remember those who have lost their lives, and to fight back against the disease.” Becca Ryan, ‘13 said, “The American Cancer Society set a goal for our school of $35,000, which we far exceeded. We had set a personal goal of at least one year in tuition, room and board, and fees at MC, which is $45,610 this year. So far we have raised $44,859.70 and fundraising continues past the event all the way through August, so we are confident!”
The luminaria ceremony was an emotional and touching part of the event. People were able to buy luminaria bags for $5. Many of the bags included messages such as, “I relay because …” or “In honor/memory of …” The bags, with glow sticks inside, were put around the track where people walked. For the ceremony, the lights in the MPR were dimmed and Meghan Reynolds ’16 and Jess Gurka ’13 talked about their parents, who are currently fighting cancer.
Ryan said, “There was a faculty team called the “Road Warriors,” headed by Professor Warren and Nancy Kay, who ran around the track for 24 hours … This was one of my favorite aspects of this year’s Relay because it was motivating to look up and see them working hard for a good cause.”
Mackapella and the Merrimack College Dance Team performed at the event, which also featured a musical chairs scavenger hunt, zumba, yoga, and other activities to keep participants awake.