The Dixon Center brought about 230 participants of the Relay for Life cancer walk to benefit The American Cancer Society.
Young and old, students and community members, the common thread was the force cancer had on their lives and the impact these walkers wanted to have on cancer.
“Cancer affects everyone. People want to see progress made towards research and have it eliminated from our community,” Katie Keller, sophomore accounting major and co-chair of Cabrini’s Relay for Life, said.
The walk, which began at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 20, and went until 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 21, was a huge success. The goal of funds to be raised was $20,000 and, at 6 p.m., the event had already met the $16,000 mark. At the conclusion of the event, the total money raised totaled $21,800, surpassing the goal.
In addition to the two co-chairs of the event, Danielle DiBartolo and Katie Keller, Relay had 13 committee members to help plan the function. There were also 28 teams that participated in Relay for Life including Cabrini Cheerleading, CAP Board, Delta Phi Xi, Geek Squad, Team Appalachia and Valley Forge Trojans.
“It’s nice for CAP Board to show support for local causes like this,” Emily Fiore, sophomore secondary education and English major, said. Fiore has also walked to benefit AIDS awareness and breast cancer, of which her aunt is in remission.
Tara Evison, senior psychology major, told her mother, who is currently fighting breast cancer, about the event. “I want her to see there are people who care,” Evison said.
“Sometimes you feel like you’re an outcast, so it’s important to come to events like this because you don’t feel like such an outsider,” Cindy Evison, Tara’s mother, said. Evison stopped smoking two years ago. “You almost have to change your life in order to quit. Evison is proud that her daughter has quit smoking to show her support.
Communities and colleges host Relay for Life walks all over the country to benefit The American Cancer Society. Representatives from the Society are present during the event to oversee the happenings and further the Society’s mission.
“[My job] is to raise awareness of cancer issues and funding and towards what ACS provides,” Kelly Bradford, cancer control specialist with The American Cancer Society, said. “I think it’s a great turn out for a first time college event.”
Mallory Beach, sophomore elementary education major and head of the Cabrini Dance Team, helped organize the silent auction that included items like makeup and hair gift baskets, gas gift cards and home items. According to Beach, the dance team did not need to put out any money to receive these items, local businesses were happy to donate.
In addition to the silent auction, other events were hosted throughout the day and into the final morning hours such as a concert by local band Pigs in Flight, a scavenger hunt and hula hoop contest. One of the most memorable moments at any Relay for Life was the lighting and placement of luminaries, bags with candles inside, to commemorate those who lost their lives to cancer.
“The event went above and beyond all of my expectations,” Danielle DiBartolo, sophomore social work, sociology and psychology major and co-chair, said. ”We have been working since August to plan the event. We have met for hours and been in contact with people all across campus to help get support, logistics, and permission. We are definitely doing Relay again next year. We cannot wait! It was a lot of work but worth every minute of it.”
photos by Matt McGuirman/ Loquitur staff photographer