Students prepare for this year’s Relay for Life

Gillian Rush, Staff Assistant

It is that time of the year again in which students at Schreiber are preparing to par- ticipate in The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Relay for Life.
Relay for Life is an overnight, community-wide fundraiser that aims to raise money for the ACS for cancer research and for supporting cancer-stricken families. The event, which will take place on the track this year on June 13, is something many Port residents anticipate each year.
Worldwide, over 7 million people die
from cancer annually. Those at the ACS hope to decrease these numbers; the Re- lay, which is now in over 5,200 commu- nities in 20 countries, is one way of rais- ing money. Typically, with all the money raised from the global events, the ACS raises over $400 million annually.
Relay for Life is not only for an effec- tive cause but also many consider it to be a fun event. In Port Washington alone, there are 72 teams signed up with over 500 participants. Students demonstrate enthusiasm and show excitement as the date of Relay approaches.
“For me, I initially began brainstorm- ing with my friend about volunteering for something, and she told me how she had done relay teams in the past. I really want- ed to do something for others, and I think cancer has touched us all in some way, so I was very interested in the cause. Relay is a great opportunity for me to volunteer. Plus, it’s a fun event! I was able to have a great time with my friends at the bake sales. My team has raised $2,239 already! We sold bracelets, had bake sales, and asked our families and friends. I’m so glad to have started a team and have it be this successful,” said freshman Jenny Valenti.
Much of the Relay event is run by Sch- reiber students. Many students have the opportunity to participate and contribute to the event through the Relay For Life club.
“I help plan the event throughout the year. We call businesses and encour- age them to sponsor Relay, set up for the event, and plan the event as a whole,” said senior Jesse Epstein.
Relay also honors those who lost the battle to cancer and encourages people to support those affected by the disease. Before dark, there is a special moment called the Survivors Lap, a time set aside for people to celebrate survivors’ victories over cancer.
Additionally, there is a luminaria cer- emony that takes place as the sun sets. Cancer survivors and participants have the option to dedicate a personalized lu- minaria (a lantern with a candle inside) to someone they know who lost the can- cer battle. Each luminaria represents one person who died, allowing their loved ones to gather together and honor him or her.