The American Cancer Society received support from New Paltz students when Relay for Life held their Valentine’s Kick-off Party on Thursday, Feb. 9 in the Multipurpose Room (MPR) of the Student Union (SU).
The event was held to promote how guests can become active in the Relay for Life event. David Manis, third-year general business major and co-chair of the committee, said the main event will take place on Saturday, April 21 on the Old Main Quad from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Many Relay for Life Executive board (E-board) members have a personal connection to the cause. Many of them know people who have fought cancer.
“Whether it be a family member, a teacher, or a friend, they are all doing their part to fight back against a disease that affects everyone in some way,” Manis said. “As a side note, I am a testicular cancer survivor of three years, which is my connection to cancer and the Relay event.”
Lindsay Beltz, a second-year sociology major, said she has always had a special connection to the cause.
“My family always participated in my town’s Relay for Life because we have several cancer survivors,” Beltz said. “Since I do have such a long history of cancer in my family, I wanted to work on the other side — planning rather than just participating — to try to help such a great organization.”
This semester, the club is trying to team up with other organizations through Greek Life, Residence Life and other clubs and organizations to put on fundraisers, third-year psychology and organizational communications major Sarah Sobel said.
“We will be having some team captain’s meetings where we will have food and games and hopefully have many more teams sign up for Relay,” Sobel said. “My personal goal is to raise over $25,000 and have no rain on the day of the event. I would also love to see the town get involved and maybe even the high school and middle school.”
At the Valentine’s Day party, a total of $275 was raised, bringing the organization closer to their $25,000 goal. Various groups on campus took part in the Valentine’s Day themed festivities. Campus groups Absolut A Capella, Sexy Pitches, Epic-Glee and TBA also performed for guests. Pizza was provided by Fat Bob’s Pizzeria.
“Last year we raised over $13,000. This year we really want to raise $25,000. As of Feb. 6, we have raised close to $1,800, which is a really good pace for us,” Manis said.
Donations can be made at the Relay for Life website, www.relayforlife.org/