Relay for Life is a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society (ACS). Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt sparked this international fundraiser when he ran around a track for 24 hours, raising money to donate to ACS. His efforts gained vast attention, raising $27,000 during his 83-mile walk. The next year, an additional 19 teams joined Dr. Klatt on the track and earned $33,000 for the cause. From then on, ACS has adopted this ceremony as its signature fundraising event. Since the first run around the track, Relay for Life has raised $6.8 billion – yes, billion with a b – in donations and reached 31 countries. 

Every year, Fairfield University hosts their own Relay for Life event. Typically held in the RecPlex, the event consists of six hours of walking and activities. The Fairfield chapter of this event is completely student-run. The Relay for Life Club on campus is run by an E-Board of five juniors; Kyle Gallagher, Emile Drolet, Allie DeFrancisco, Kelly McRae, and myself. We have been working tirelessly to organize the event all year to put on the best Relay yet. 

But why do we relay? Hear from the Fairfield Relay for Life E-Board members to hear some of their answers. 

President Kyle Gallagher says; “I relay because I want everyone that goes through this experience to have access to the same strong supportive community that I was fortunate enough to be a part of. The battle with cancer is unpredictable and downright terrifying, but although this experience can be daunting on its own, it doesn’t have to be. This fundraising event helps to provide treatment and so much more for cancer patients that truly need it.”

Co-Vice President Emile Drolet adds, “There is a beautiful community of people that come to the Relay for Life event across the country that celebrate those that have survived and remember those that have lost their lives to cancer. I relay because my mom beat breast cancer when I was in elementary school so it is a very personal and meaningful organization to support!” 

I am the Secretary of Relay for Life and I relay because cancer has touched the lives of many people I love. I walk, fundraise and hope for a cure for them. I relay because I can, and that is a privilege. 

The E-Board of Relay for Life hopes you can come to our event and support our cause on April 20th, in the RecPlex from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

About The Author

Class of 2025

Christina Silvestri is an English Major with minors in Editing & Publishing and Italian Language & Literature.

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