Walking for a Cause: Fairfield’s Fifth Relay for Life


Contributed Photo

As the sun rose over Fairfield University at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 30, the traffic circle was more populated than usual.  A group of exhausted students gathered in the brisk morning air to hear the closing remarks of Fairfield University’s fifth annual Relay for Life organized by the club Colleges Against Cancer (CAC). This year, the event raised $41,250, with donations still being accepted.

The event began on Friday evening at 6 p.m. and went for a full 12 hours through the night, symbolizing cancer patients’ struggle through the darkness of their illness into the hope for a cure.

“I think what really kept me going and awake was the fact that most of my team was still there going strong,” said freshman Anne Marie Teti, who made it the whole night. Teti decided to participate in Relay for her grandmother who passed away from leukemia.  “I felt the need to walk for her as well as for all the others who lost loved ones to cancer,” she said.

Meredith Davide ’12 was one of the three chairs organizing this year’s event. Davide was first inspired to join CAC because cancer has touched the lives of many people close to her.  “It is amazing to watch the Fairfield community unite on a Friday night at the heart of our campus, working so hard for this cause that means so much to me,” she said.

The planning of Relay for Life is a semester-long process that requires time and dedication.  “We start planning the next year’s Relay as soon as the event ends,” said Jessica Gilpin ’12, another one of the chairs.  “There are many different aspects that need to be thought of and worked through, so as the event draws near, it takes over all your thoughts!”

Each year, CAC picks a theme for Relay for Life, and teams decorate their campsites and hold onsite fundraisers which accompany this theme.  This year’s theme was birthdays, echoing the American Cancer Society’s claim of being “the official sponsor of birthdays.”  In total, 540 people attended in 47 teams ranging in themes from Disney Princess birthday party to 21st Birthday.

The event highlighted two Fairfield students who gave brief speeches about the importance of Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.  Chris Mandly ‘13, a survivor of skin cancer, first took the stage to share his story in the opening ceremony. “While I was giving the speech, all I kept thinking was just how blessed I am,” Mandly said.  However, reflecting on his experience was not easy. “I have never really looked back on that time because it consisted of me on a couch with my mom watching over me with tear-filled eyes every second of the day,” he said.

Andrea Irwin ’13 also shared how her life was affected by cancer. Irwin’s triplet brother Nick was diagnosed with cancer when she was in high school. Like Mandly, Irwin believed that what she had to say was more important than any nerves or discomfort she might feel at sharing her story.

“I spoke anyway because I know how important it is to provide those affected by cancer with support, and speaking was a way for me to show how important the role of support is in providing hope,” she said.

Irwin was able to see this hope concretely in the opening laps of Relay for Life. Survivors of cancer traditionally walk the first lap before being joined by the caregivers of cancer patients and finally all Relay participants.

“One of my best friends walked in the survivor lap, and I was so proud of her,”  Irwin said. “Then seeing all the teams literally filling the track as everyone walked around was amazing. There were so many people joining together and walking, and it was a great feeling to be a part of that.”

Another moving part of the event was the Luminaria ceremony.  During this time, bags decorated with the names of loved ones who are fighting cancer or who have lost the battle against cancer were lit up around the traffic circle. The names on the bags were then read off one by one as all participants walked in quiet solidarity.

During this time, Mandly noticed one person in particular.  “One girl picked up her Luminaria bag for the walk and carried it around the circle, walking with who ever she lost,” he said. “[It] touched me and made the event so worthwhile.”

Throughout the 12-hour event, CAC also scheduled entertainment to keep up morale and ensure that everyone had a fun time while fighting for an important cause.  This year, performances included the fire spinning group A Different Spin, and the many Fairfield groups including Remixx, Performing for Change, the Bensonians, the Sound, and Ipso Facto.

Just as in previous years, the 2011 Fairfield University Relay for Life was a big success. Michelle Brennan ’11, the third committee chair, believes this is a huge credit to the students of the University.

Brennan said, “It really is breathtaking tosee hundreds of students walking the track, fighting against cancer. That really speaks to the values and characters of students at Fairfield.  While the committee organizes the event, it’s the students that participate that make Relay for Life what it is.”

586 Responses to Walking for a Cause: Fairfield’s Fifth Relay for Life

  1. My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  2. I’ve recently started a web site, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work. “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” by Thomas Paine.

  3. Great post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Appreciate it!

  4. get paid says:

    As I web site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling wonderful , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

  5. batman says:

    hello webmaster. I am using thesis theme and i was wondering what theme it is that you are using

  6. I simply could not go away your site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info a person supply on your visitors? Is gonna be back steadily in order to check out new posts.

  7. Very interesting topic , appreciate it for putting up. “To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.” by G. K. Chesterton.

  8. I think other website proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and magnificent user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  9. I really understand just about all your thoughts expressed within the article above. Still, there’s something I am unable to believe. Then again, many of people will obtain your posts pretty educative and additionally fascinating. So carry on executing what you are currently definitely working at. Best of chance!

  10. ecig says:

    Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on

  11. that I actually would…Lol). You certainly put a new spin on a area thats been written about for a long time. Fantastic stuff, superb!

  12. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness on your submit is just great and i can think you are a professional on this subject. Fine

  13. Attractive part of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to say that I get in fact loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing on your feeds or even I fulfillment you get admission to persistently rapidly. Sorry for poor English I am visiting your blog from Sout Korea :D

  14. I enjoy, lead to I found just what I was having a look for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  15. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  16. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  17. Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  18. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Unquestionably believe that that you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be at the web the simplest factor to consider of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as other folks think about concerns that they plainly don’t recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing with no need side effect , other people can take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

  20. I’ve recently started a site, the info you provide on this web site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  21. I wish to show my appreciation to this writer just for bailing me out of this type of circumstance. After scouting through the search engines and obtaining proposals which are not beneficial, I was thinking my entire life was well over. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the issues you’ve solved by way of your main blog post is a critical case, as well as those that might have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I hadn’t noticed your web blog. Your main knowledge and kindness in maneuvering everything was crucial. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a solution like this. I am able to at this time look forward to my future. Thank you very much for your expert and amazing guide. I won’t think twice to recommend your web site to anyone who wants and needs guide about this issue.

  22. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  23. tiara condos says:

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info particularly the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  24. Hey there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  25. Thank you for all of your hard work on this blog. My mother enjoys going through investigation and it’s really easy to understand why. My partner and i notice all of the compelling tactic you make practical steps through your blog and even encourage participation from some others on this area so our child is starting to learn so much. Enjoy the rest of the new year. Your carrying out a remarkable job.

  26. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  27. Fun Games says:

    This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  28. Regards for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting info. “The words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels.” by Hazrat Inayat Khan.

  29. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  30. You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  31. Tous les meilleurs liens sont sur annuaires-gratuit.com, referencement annuaires gratuit .

  32. Another issue is really that video gaming has become one of the all-time most significant forms of recreation for people of any age. Kids enjoy video games, plus adults do, too. Your XBox 360 is just about the favorite gaming systems for many who love to have hundreds of games available to them, plus who like to play live with other folks all over the world. Thank you for sharing your notions.

  33. always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from…

    just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

(Spamcheck Enabled)