First luminary ceremony raises breast cancer awareness

Madison Weaver, Staff Writer

Surrounded by pink glowing lights on the academic quad, co-chair of the Relay for Life committee Emily Heydt ’19 exclaimed, “Cancer doesn’t quit and neither do we!”

On the evening of Oct. 23 students lined the quad with pink luminary bags to support those affected by breast cancer and raise awareness for the cause. The ceremony was planned by the University’s Relay for Life organization.

“The luminary is dedicated in memory, support, or in honor of someone who has been touched by cancer,” Heydt said. 

After the event was pushed back from Oct. 21 to Oct. 23 due to rain, the Relay for Life committee was excited to see the final product of their many months of planning.

At 7 p.m., pink luminaries began lining the main pathways of the Malesardi Quad, commanding the attention of students going to and from the library.

Many students stopped to take pictures, ask questions, or simply stand in silent support of the cause.

“Watching people stop and take pictures just made me proud to be a Bucknellian,” Heydt said.

Each spring, the University’s Relay for Life event includes a luminary ceremony, but many felt the need for a larger presence on campus. As breast cancer is a disease that affects many families, the event holds a special meaning for many students.

“As someone who is so passionate about this organization, I am always proud to see how much it means to others as well,” co-chair Kendall Hughes ’17 said.

“My favorite part was watching people find the luminaria bags that they had decorated … this event was truly personal for them and it was an amazing opportunity for them to honor their loved ones,” committee co-chair Leah Chrisbacher ’20 said. 

The Relay for Life committee hoped that the event would heighten breast cancer awareness on campus, as well as begin fundraising to meet their goal of donating $45,000 to the American Cancer Association this year.

Throughout the semester, the committee will be selling laptop stickers and holding additional events, including a No Shave November challenge in support of testicular and prostate cancer.

With a committee of over 50 people, the organization is busy planning the Relay for Life event, which will take place on March 31, 2017.

Students interested in getting involved or supporting the cause can visit the Relay for Life Facebook page, create teams for the spring Relay, purchase laptop stickers, or donate on the Relay for Life website.

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