By Rachel Baio, '17
Mazzella Field was lit up as Iona students walked around the turf with illuminated balloons. Edmund Rice Society (ERS) had their annual Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, an event the ERS holds each year to raise awareness and money for research.
This year included a raffle, appearances and support from several co-sponsors, and an alumni guest speaker.
The night began in the End Zone, where participants registered and made a donation to the cause. After registration, students were given a balloon with a light inside, so when the switch was turned on the balloon lit up like a floating candle.
After receiving their balloon, the participants gathered around the bleachers while a DJ played music from Mazzella’s huge speakers. Not long after, the Dance Team performed a positive and lively routine centered in the field. The Pipe band also made an appearance.
“The crowd was large,” Edmund Rice President Alyssa Toth said. “There was about 250 people walking with us.” Mazzella was lit by flickering artificial candles as students turned on their lights and began to walk for cancer. Lapping the turf four times while listening to music and holding up the glowing balloons, Iona lit up the night in remembrance and support for lymphoma and leukemia patients.
Sororities Phi Sigma Sigma, Psi Kappa Theta, Gamma Lamda Rho and Delta Theta Beta walked along side participants. SADD Club, Hellenic Society and fraternity Pi Kappa Phi also showed their support.
“We had about ten co-sponsors this year,” said Toth. “The amount of support was just amazing.”
After walking around the field with the glowing balloons, a raffle took place. The raffle offered prizes of four $25 Visa gift cards and movie tickets to the lucky winners.
When all the prizes were awarded, a guest speaker took over the microphone to say a few words.
Alumna Meaghan McGoldrick (‘13) spoke to all the participants in appreciation as she announced that this year’s Light the Night Walk was being held in her mother’s memory. McGoldrick’s mother passed away just a week before the event.
“This is a great cause, and all the money raised is going to help a lot of people,” McGoldrick said.
This year, the Light the Night event raised $620 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as additional funds to support McGoldrick.
“This event was doubled in size this year compared to last year and the funds we raised this year nearly doubled last year’s totals,” said Toth. “I hope that this event will be able to continue to bring together the Iona community and raise funds and awareness for those who need it the most.”