On Friday, April 4, dozens of faculty, staff and students are planning to take part in one of the biggest battles ever held at Hobart and William Smith Colleges: the fight against cancer.
Every year, in hundreds of towns and cities, residents join in a 12-hour non-stop relay walk to raise funds, honor survivors and remember those who have lost their lives to cancer. There are currently 4,800 different relays being planned for this year, and these Colleges have hosted Geneva's Relay For Life in June on Boswell Field for more than a decade.
This year's student-run event will take place earlier, while school is still in session, enabling students to participate in the fun and fund-raising. Relay for Life also serves as a celebration for those who are battling and who have survived cancer. It has become a time for friends, families and community members to come together and honor those fighters as well as remembering those lost to it. Relay For Life nationally has been the American Cancer Society's most successful fund-raising event, offering hope and providing strength to keep the fight alive.
The HWS Relay for Life will begin at 7 p.m. at Bristol Gym, eliminating all worries about the weather. Teams of 8 to 15 people will gather to unload sleeping bags, food and overnight supplies at designated home bases inside the gym, and the ceremonial first lap, the traditional Survivors Lap, will set the tone for the evening.
For the next 12 hours, the Relay celebration continues, with music, dancing and games. Rules specify that one member from each team must be walking around the track at all times, until the end at 7 a.m. Saturday the 5th.
Team members are now contacting families, friends and relatives to help in raise funds for the effort. All money raised goes directly into cancer research and the event's main goal: to someday eliminate cancer. Sponsors can donate to a participant, a team, or the event as a whole. Those interested can start a team, view other teams and pledge or donate at HWS's Relay for Life page.
Relay for Life at the Colleges has been made possible by the enthusiastic and strong efforts of students; Francesca Antonucci '10 and Brittany Flaherty '10 are co-chairing the event; Cory Turner '08 is the marketing chair.
Turner explains her excitement and hopes for the event: “This is the first-ever event that really will try to pull the whole campus together. Many events bring together specific groups, and Relay for Life will pull everyone together for the same great cause. This is the first chance for HWS students to take part in a Relay that involves both the Geneva community and the Colleges.”
Meetings to continue planning Relay for Life are held at 7 p.m. each Sunday. All those interested are encouraged to come; for details, visit the HWS Relay for Life page or e-mail Brittany.firstname.lastname@example.org or Francesca.email@example.com.