In the all-night event for the annual Relay for Life held April 21, a spectrum of individuals lapped Walsh Gymnasium’s indoor track, participated in team activities,and raised money and awareness for cancer research.
More than 1,200 people attended the event, according to Elizabeth Halpin, Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) advisor and associate dean of External Affairs.
CAC teamed up with the American Cancer Society and Greek Life to coordinate the event. The yearlong planning process included managing and communicating with several departments and organizations, Halpin said via email.
In 11 years, Relay for Life has raised more than half a million dollars for the American Cancer Society’s research, treatment, and advocacy programs, Halpin said.
American Cancer Society’s representative for Seton Hall’s Relay for Life was Amanda Smith, a community manager for the organization. According to Smith, the event raised $56,000, nearly reaching its goal of $60,000. Even though Relay for Life has ended, the fundraising continues until Aug. 31, Smith said.
Rutgers University has currently raised $65,742.49 out of its goal of $110,000, according to Relay for Life’s website. Monmouth University has raised $29,778.95 out of it’s goal of $50,000 so far, said the website.
“As the American Cancer Society we are so grateful for everything Seton Hall Community puts into Relay for Life,” Smith said in an email interview. “We could not do what we do without the dedication of the Colleges Against Cancer student organization, our faculty advisors Elizabeth Halpin and Josh Reda, as well as the support from the SHU administration as a whole.”
Ryan Goldberg, Relay for Life co-chair and a junior and sports management major, said his grandmother introduced him to the event in middle school.
“After [my grandmother] passed away from cancer, I continued on her legacy by being as involved as I could in the event,” Goldberg said via email. “This event here at Seton Hall may be extremely stressful, but it is all worth it in the end. It is an amazing feeling to see so many students come together to fight for a great cause.”
In the all-night vigil, several activities occurred such as a luminaria, games administered by Greek Life, dance performances, a game show, magic acts, and talks given by cancer survivors, according to Anthony Tuong Cheong, a junior chemistry major who is a two-time attendee and team captain of Phi Delta Theta during the event.
Cheong led a team of over 20 people in the Relay for Life events and his team worked a lemonade stand where all profits directly went to the cause. Cheong said he enjoys the event because of its unifying effect.
“Relay is also great because it’s one of the few events that brings the whole community together to support a great cause,” Cheong said. “A lot of the events are specific to academic clubs or Greek organizations or social clubs, but this one really brings everybody from faculty to students to athletes, etc. together and that is really great.”
Thomas Schwartz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.