Let’s keep fighting cancer!
Thirty-eight teams, over 400 registered participants, and $11,451 earned before the night began. On April 21st, 2017, Mansfield University’s Relay for Life kicked off at Kelchner Fitness Center (KFC). Coordinated by MU students Rebecca Marsch, Sarah Nezelek, Paige Eldred, and Mike Maniscalco, who collaborated with American Cancer Society’s local community manager, Jordyn Howe, the event took off at 5 pm with an opening ceremony and ended at 2am with recognition of the volunteers who helped organize the event. KFC was filled with students, staff, faculty, and community members all celebrating the life and fight of those who suffer and/ or suffered from cancer. Teams included everything from the MU football team, to MU fraternities, and sororities like Kappa Kappa Phi, Delta Zeta, and other clubs like nerf club, community service club, snow sports club, honors association, diatetics, spectrum, psychology club, and so many more! Each team’s booth showcased fundraisers that connected to their chosen Disney Movie theme. From selling “jungle juice” at the Jungle Book booth, to spaghetti at the “Lady and the Tramp” booth, and even Star Wars cookies at the “Star Wars” booth, all the teams developed creative ways to fundraise and support the fight for cancer. Games and other activities were also offered for participants to enjoy.
After the opening ceremony and in between the games, food, and activities, all teams walked the survivor lap, where survivors and those currently affected by cancer walked the track. Dr. Robert Maris, MU Biology Professor, presented a heart-warming story about survival, and other cancer fighting testimonies filled the air as a representation of “Fighting Back” and showing great resilience in the face of cancerous diseases. Caregivers, who have provided support to their close loved ones, were also recognized and walked a lap. All team members then joined hands to commemorate and celebrate the fight of lost loved ones by taking laps, taking turns walking to symbolize the ongoing fight against cancer. Luminarias lit up after dark to remember those lost, and continue celebrating cancer survivors, who are not alone.
Tears were shed, laughter ensued, stories were told, and silent moments showed reverence for the courage, perseverance, and hope those brave enough to fight the battle against cancer encountered. The air in KFC was filled with love and support, as students, community members, faculty, and MU staff members came together in willing celebration. It was a night to remember!
MU Relay for Life’s goal was to raise $23,000 by the end of the morning to donate to the American Cancer Society. The MU student chairs that coordinated Relay for Life this year were hopeful that through fundraising they could not only beat their last year’s goal, but hit close to their 2017 goal.
Let’s keep fighting cancer! MU Relay for Life, 2017.