By Kelly Dombrowski,'16 and Meral Kathwari, '16
Photos by Gabriella Archbold
New Rochelle, New York- On April 9, 2016, over 450 participants on 23 teams joined together in the Hynes athletic center to celebrate, remember and fight back against cancer. The students walked from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. showing their support for cancer survivors because cancer never sleeps.
On a mission to raise over $57,000, Iona students and organizations planned this fun-filled night to raise money and awareness for cancer research. The theme of this year's event was Western, and the slogan was “Giving Cancer the Boot”. The night was complete with games such as scavenger hunts, Miss Relay Pageant, Zumba and even a mechanical bull. Many students spoke about their experiences with cancer, whether they were affected personally or a family member. Students also had the opportunity to either shave their heads in support or donate 8 inches of hair for Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program.
The night honored both cancer survivors and caregivers, coming together as a community to show our support to anyone who has been affected by cancer. The Luminaria ceremony honored those who beat cancer and was in memory of those who lost their battles. It was the most emotional time during the event as students, family members and staff reflected upon how cancer affects their lives.
The event is run by the Iona organization Colleges Against Cancer and is comprised of a committee of all Iona Students. Nikki Molfetas, President of CAC and Cancer Survivor stated, “making relay happen is a lot of work, but it’s an awesome event. Everyone gets to come to honor survivors and caregivers and come together as a community, which is truly the best part.”
Donations are still being accepted for the Iona Relay for Life until August 31, 2016. The students hope to exceed their $60,000 goal by this time.
Brother Devlin, Cancer Survivor and Director of Student Success talked about the importance of Relay for Life. “Because of tonight, people are looking at new ways to diagnosed cancer. I was diagnosed with cancer because of a colonoscopy there weren’t colonoscopy’s years ago.”
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