Relaying for a Cure

The American Cancer Society has arrived on campus.

Starting  Saturday, April 9, Relay for Life teams will be participating in different activities across campus to raise money.

According to the New Paltz Relay for Life website, 16 teams have registered for the event and $3,701 has been raised with 62 people chosen to help out the cause.

“The Relay For Life at SUNY New Paltz is what we consider a ‘third party event,’ meaning it’s run exclusively by the students there,” said Anna Trocino, the event manager.

The student committee, headed by third-year childhood education major with an English concentration Jessica Abrams, runs all of the events on campus. Abrams has two co-chairs working with her in addition to a committee of about eight depending on the event.

An a capella night was held at the Student Union last Saturday, March 12 to raise money for Relay For Life. The event was co-sponsored by Saturday Nights at the Terrace.

The week before the relay is what Abrams and co-chair, second-year journalism major with a concentration in Public Relations Elizabeth Pinto, calls “paint the campus purple week.” Planning meetings are held every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in Student Union 414.

The relay race will take place in the Elting gym. Either side of the track will be taped down to the floor. Activities and performances will be going on throughout the day. The Sexy Pitches, Absolut Acapella and the TBA Improv Troupe are scheduled to perform.

“We also have our ceremonies which really are the core of the event,” said Abrams. “The luminary ceremony is our way of honoring those who have lost the fight, are still fighting or who have beaten cancer.”

Pinto said ideas for fundraisers come from the brainstorming sessions of the committee.

“If we don’t want to do it we assume others won’t want to do it either,” she said. “Sometimes we base our events off of themes, like we did a Super Bowl party, and our kickoff had Halloween decorations.”

Although no official fundraising goal has been set for 2011, Abrams said they hope to beat last year’s total earnings of approximately $12,000.

The top-earning relay team thus far is Rock ‘n Relay, which has raised $2,386 thus far. Six members make up the team. According to team Captain David Manis’ fundraising page, he relays to learn about the different ways to make a difference in the never-ending fight against cancer.

“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, more than just the patient feels the pain,” Manis said. “The family, friends and local community members all share it together.”

Manis individually has raised $1,651.

More teams are still needed to sign up for the Relay. To sign up for the event or to donate, visit