Relay for Life to take place in Gerhard Fieldhouse

Silvia Buonocore, News Editor

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The University’s annual Relay For Life will take place in the Gerhard Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. on March 22 to raise awareness for cancer. Over the course of the semester, chairs Kate Elken ’19 and Matt Novak ’21, alongside co-chairs Chris Mangano ’21 and Stephen Olick-Sutphen ’22, have led nine committees to prepare for the event. The nine committees include logistics, entertainment, luminaria, decorations, publicity, recruitment, survivorship, treasury, and fundraising.

 

This year’s theme, Relay for Gold, was inspired by the Olympics to bring about a sense of perseverance and unwavering courage, which many cancer patients exhibit during their difficult battles with the disease. This theme also encompasses the hard work done by researchers who strive to find a cure.

 

“One of our goals for the event is to raise money for the American Cancer Society so they can continue to fund their educational programs and research, while also providing support to families affected by cancer,” Elken said.

 

Students, faculty, staff, and community members can participate in Relay for Life by creating teams or signing up as individuals. The event includes many games, activities, and team tables that surround the track. Additionally, participants are encouraged to walk around the track throughout the evening, which gives Relay its name.

 

“I am looking forward to seeing Bucknell come together and create a sense of community around the fight against cancer and supporting those who have been impacted by the disease,” Novak said.

 

The event will also have the traditional luminaria ceremony, in which the lights are turned off, and caregivers share personal stories regarding their experience with cancer. The track is then lined with luminaria bags, which are illuminated by glow sticks. Following the speeches, participants walk around the track in memory of those who have lost their fight to cancer.

 

Aside from this somber ceremony, the majority of the evening has a vivacious tone to celebrate cancer survivors and the many accomplishments researchers have made in creating new treatments. Survivors from the community are also invited, so the University community can celebrate with them and honor their experiences.

 

“Our biggest goal is to rally together as a Bucknell community to celebrate, remember, and fight back. Each of us has been affected by cancer in a unique way, but there is an overwhelming feeling of hope when a time and space is created to encourage each other to persevere towards a future without cancer,” Elken said.

 

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