On April 17, the Fairfield Relay for Life Campaign culminated in a 12-hour rousing event for students to commemorate and honor cancer fighters and survivors, as well as raise money for cancer research.
Relay for Life is an overnight community fundraising walk, where members of each team participate in taking turns walking around a track.
Many students that participated called the event “inspirational,” “fun” and “powerful.”
According to Erica Osowiski ‘17, “It was heartwarming to see so many people come together for the same reason.”
Sophomore Marc Lee agreed, saying “It’s fun because everyone’s together, but it’s such a lighthearted atmosphere despite it being such a serious thing. It feels like a carnival, but for helping people.”
Many students participate in Relay for Life in honor of a survivor they are close with.
For Katie Higgins ‘18, Relay for Life is a chance to become involved. “Watching someone you love suffer from cancer is difficult because it makes you feel helpless. There’s not much you can do other than be a support system. However, being involved in an event like Relay for Life allows you to feel like you are taking back some control,” said Higgins.
Freshman Aura Cristina Agudelo Rivera felt that Relay for Life is an important event on campus because she believes that “one day we will be able to finish the fight against cancer and no one will have to hear the words ‘you have cancer,’” which she feels Relay for Life makes possible.
As part of the event, student programs are encouraged to organize teams for the event in which they work together to raise money towards the cause.
“The committee was particularly strong at supporting other campus clubs and organizations in using Relay as a venue for group bonding, and group promotion,” said Nicole Heller ‘13, program coordinator for Student Programs & Leadership Development. “Having a relay team let the NSL group bond as well as other groups that had teams and got the word out there about who they are and what they do,” stated Heller.
Committee members were enthusiastic about the success of the event, pointing to the participant number and the money raised towards the cause.
“We raised over $50,000 and had over 500 participants and 57 teams,” stated Angelica Leventhal ‘18.
“I was on the Relay for Life committee and it was an incredible event,” said Stephen Dierks ‘18. “It was incredible to see so many people come together for such a good cause to fight for a cure.”