By Christian McCarville and Lauren Minore
Relay for Life is tradition a at Rider which has served as an opportunity for students to band together and help support a common cause. This year’s tenth-annual relay will take place on March 30th at 6 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.
Joan Liptrot, director of service and civic engagment, said that Relay is an opportunity for students to come together and support family, friends and members of the Rider community who are living with cancer or who have lost someone to cancer.
“In addition to raising money for the great work that the American Cancer Society does, this event is a great opportunity to raise awareness. It is more than a fun night of dancing and [activities], we try to provide information and inspiration,” Liptrot said.
Students are able to create teams which collectively raise money to benefit the American Cancer Society (ACR). Many organizations on campus such as Greek Life, athletic teams, residence halls and various clubs and organizations have already formed teams and raised money for donation.
One of the main goals of the event is to raise $50,000 which is donated to the ACR for cancer research.
Rider’s Relay entails several ceremonies, including a survivor and caregiver walk. There will also be an opening ceremony honoring those whose lives have been impacted by cancer in some way. Chances are, according to Liptrot, that most people will feel the effects of cancer — whether by personal diagnosis or the effects of family and friends diagnoses — at some point in their lifetimes.
“Research has shown that changes in lifestyle, including diet and exercise, can decrease [one’s] chances of getting cancer. Cancer-related deaths could be prevented by early diagnosis, so encouraging family members to get tested, if [there is] family history, can [help it] be prevented,” Liptrot said. “[Just] being there to support them emotionally, sometimes it’s just driving someone to chemotherapy [treatments]. There are a lot of things that students can do in addition to this amazing event.”
A Luminaria ceremony will also take place in which bags filled with battery-operated candle lights are lined around the indoor track to pay respects to all those who have lost their battle with cancer.
Lexie Livesey, a senior French major and Relay Luminarias and Ceremonies chair, said that she feels joy knowing she plays a role in executing some of the most memorable parts of Relay to the Rider community.
“The Luminaria’s lap is the moment in which we remember those who we have lost to cancer. It is such a tantamount part of the event,” Livesey said. “I love being able to give participants that one healing moment where they can honor those who have lost their battle to cancer.”
A final ceremony will close the event, with the goal of inspiring many to take action, as well as celebrating the progress and accomplishments made in the fight against cancer.
Livesey said that Rider’s Relay is unique compared to that of other Relay for Life events because it is reflective of its campus community.
“It mirrors the close-knit community that Rider has in general,” she said. “Our event has a close family feel to it which other events may not. Our Relay for Life is representative of our campus.”
Published in the 3/13/19 edition.