Students at SUNY New Paltz gave cancer a fright on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the Half-Way to Relay Halloween Party.
The party was organized by the Relay for Life Club in an effort to spread the word about the club and to encourage students to sign up for the relay.
From 7 to 9 p.m., students filled the Multipurpose Room in the Student Union to enjoy free food, games, and performances by SUNY New Paltz’s female a capella group Sexy Pitches and the Epic Glee club.
Aside from the performances and activities, students could purchase Luminaria bags, which represent a sign of support for those fighting cancer or in remembrance of those who passed away. A table was also set up to assist students in the online sign-up process.
After the performances, a slideshow explaining Relay for Life and the registration process was presented by club Co-Chair David Manis, a third-year general business major. The presentation answered frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the fundraiser as well as how Relay for Life raises money.
Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and is highly involved with college campuses across the nation. SUNY New Paltz’s chapter raised more than $13,000 at last year’s relay.
Emily Caccia, a fourth-year organizational communications major, performed with the Sexy Pitches and expressed her enthusiasm for the cause.
“It’s good to support these kinds of events,” Caccia said. “People should be more aware about events like this on campus.”
Fundraising is done through individual teams who develop different ideas to get donations. At the actual relay, members of each team take turns walking for the duration of the event, showing support for people whose lives have been affected by cancer.
With more than 40 attendees, the club hopes this will mean more participation from students.
The committee board is optimistic that they will be able to top the amount raised last year and believes it can be done with the number of people who showed interest at the event.
“The more people the better,” Manis said. “It’s just more people that can get involved.”
According to the club’s public relations officer Michelle Eisenstadt, a third-year public relations major, the successful turnout was the result of good advertising. By promoting the event through fliers, posters, and the SUNY New Paltz television and radio stations, advertisements reached students in many forms.
This year’s relay at SUNY New Paltz will take place on April 14.
“Cancer affects everybody,” Manis said. “It doesn’t discriminate.”