Students raise funds to fight cancer at ‘Relay for Life’

April 27, 2018

Students gathered for “Relay for Life” on Saturday, an annual event featuring games, concerts and bake sales to raise money for the American Cancer Society. As of press time, Brandeis Relay for Life had fundraised $24,169.40. Held in the Gosman Athletic Center, the event lasted from Saturday, April 21 until Sunday, April 22.

A highlight of the night was the Luminaria ceremony, where students held glow sticks and walked around the track in remembrance of those lost to cancer, those who are currently fighting cancer and those who have beaten cancer.

At Relay for Life, teams could register to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Individual team members who raised $100 or more received a 2018 Relay for Life T-shirt. Top teams at Brandeis included the Brandeis women’s Frisbee team, Banshee, which raised $2,209 and Holliston High School, a local Massachusetts school.

At Relay, student musician and a cappella groups, including Company B and Proscenium, performed. Students could play a variety of games, purchase baked goods and participate in other fundraising events led by individual teams.

Two Relay organizers, Ilana Bauman ’19 and Brianna Silverman ’19, spoke about their experience with Relay.

“The Luminaria ceremony as a whole is always really meaningful to me,” said Silverman. She described how, after walking around the track with glow sticks, students put the lights in a giant white Luminaria bag near the center of Gosman to represent those lost to cancer. Students walked up in groups based on who they had lost—close family members, friends, grandparents or others.

“[A]fter we put the glow sticks in the bag … we can see the people they have lost in their lives and we … learn something about them, and then we come together,” said Silverman, “It’s almost like a family.”

Attendees also wrote messages on the bag about those they had lost to cancer or the reasons they participate in Relay.

Bauman and Silverman also spoke about the reason they participate in relay. Bauman’s father was diagnosed with cancer when she was six years old. “For me, Relay means really actively fighting back but also acknowledging that we’re fighting for a reason” she said.

Planning and fundraising for Relay is ongoing throughout the academic year. According to the national Relay for Life webpage, the donations are “used to fund life-saving cancer research, patient support services, prevention and education information, and detection and treatment programs.”

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