Students, faculty and local residents gathered together in Huntington Gymnasium on Friday, February 24 to participate in the Relay for Life charity event. Created by the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life has brought people together in order to raise money for cancer research in America and around the world. Event participants took part in a number of unique activities over the course of the night. These activities sought to raise awareness for cancer and create an overall enjoyable environment for everyone involved in the cancer fundraiser.
Assistant Professor of Biology Engda Hagos began the event by giving a speech about how cancer can and will be overcome in the near future. After the speech, participants were served dinner catered by Holy Smokes BBQ and later enjoyed a musical performance by the Colgate Resolutions, the Colgate Dischords, along with Swagged Up Squad. Perhaps the most touching portion of the event occurred during the “Luminaria” Ceremony, where the lights in the Huntington Gym were dimmed and participants took a brief moment of silence to remember loved ones who had passed away because of cancer. This tradition at the beginning of each Relay for Life event serves as a way to represent the hope that one day medical advances will make cancer a thing of the past.
“This event seeks to represent the battle against cancer, while spreading awareness… the event is meant to be a lot of fun,” senior Bradley Martin, who planned and organized the event, said.
Martin suggested that despite raising awareness for a devastating disease, the format for the Relay for Life ceremony manages to bring together a group of people for some much needed social bonding with fellow members of their community going through similar struggles. Partakers got the opportunity to participate in fun activities such as a cake decorating competition and even a free yoga session by instructor Julie Wiesse. A wide variety of members of the Colgate community could be found sharing laughs with their friends while helping themselves to a wide assortment of foods and drinks. The event drew to an emphatic culmination with a powerful slideshow presentation displaying the hard work, dedication and bravery of many participants and cancer survivors at the event. People were encouraged to take a final lap in silence to remember those who had lost their lives in the battle against cancer.
Senior Dayne Weber, an organizer and participant, feels that the Relay for Life event is significant because it serves as a way for the Colgate community to “celebrate, remember and fight back,” against the forces of cancer. Moreover, the event was dedicated to all members of the community who have been affected by cancer.
Contact Alan Pleat at [email protected]