Colleen Quinlan ’15
Merrimack College will be hosting a 12-hour event known as Relay For Life on April 10. The American Cancer Society sponsors the event that recognizes survivors and remembers those who have passed away. The theme for the upcoming event this year is “Superheroes.” The theme is related to the heroes who have fought cancer and finding a hero within, the co-chair members explain.
Brianna Decina who is one of the three co-chairs of the event and explains how the event is one big party but also remembers what the event is about.
“It’s a 12-hour party with your friends, but you are also there to honor the people that are going through the disease and honor the caregivers who take care of those with the disease,” Decina said.
Decina explained the money raised goes toward not only research, but also patient services and supporting those who are going through cancer.
The event has four different ceremonies throughout the night. The opening ceremony is kicked off with the Survivors Lap, where all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around celebrating their victory over cancer. Another event is the Luminaria Ceremony, a special event that takes place after dark where we remember those whom have lost their lives to cancer, honor people who fought cancer in the past, and support those whom continue to fight. Candles or glowsticks are lit and placed inside a personalized bag called luminaria bags, which are placed around the track.
After the Luminaria Ceremony, the third lap of the night is the Caregiver Ceremony. During this lap we recognizes who have given care to cancer patients. Last, there is a Fight Back Ceremony, where we make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer.
There will be different activities throughout the night. Victoria Ellis, another co-chair member, gave a brief description of what happened last year at the event.
“Last year we had a lot of fun activities such as a giant game of musical chairs, Zumba, a smoothie bike, Mr. Relay, and Joe Andruzzi was our guest speaker,” Ellis says.
Why should students’ participant in this event? Gabriel Maechaoui co-chair members explained why he decided join.
“Originally, I wanted to get involved on campus and meet new people. I made a lot of friends and we all clicked and it was all for a great cause,” Maechaoui says.
“It is nice to see people from campus and knowing they are all in the same mind set and same mood,” Decina said. “Everyone is there for the same reason so it is nice because during the Luminaria event you might be walking next to someone you do not know but you can tell they are supporting you because of that experience. Relay for Life is a community builder.”
Relay for Life will be taking place on April 10th from 6 p.m.- 6 a.m. in the MPR located in the Sakowich Center. Create a team or donate to the American Cancer Society by checking out the website at www.relayforlife.org