The American Cancer Society’#146;s signature fundraising event, appropriately
named, ‘Relay for Life,’ has found itself at Stony Brook University
for the first time.
On Wednesday at 7 p.m., students, including Jean Marie Haggerty, the event
chairman, met at the Benedict Building in the H-Quad to discuss the event at
the Relay for Life kick-off.
Students and others involved in the event listened as Dr. John S. Korach, an
internationally known expert on cancer research and the head of the Stony Brook
cancer research program, spoke about a disease that affects many people.
Relay for Life is the largest fundraising event in the world. Last year it
raised $209 million from 3,300 events, but it is a fairly new event to Long
Island. All money raised by this event is donated for research and to help cancer
Haggerty, who came up with the idea to have the event at SBU, had previous
knowledge of the function and how it was normally held in a community setting.
She took her insight a step further and realized that SBU is an actual community
with clubs, sororities, and fraternities making it possible to raise even more
money than a smaller community could.
‘Having Relay for Life here at Stony Brook would bring in a lot of money,
for a really important cause,’ Haggerty said. ‘I just thought that
it was a really good idea.’
The event will open with the ‘survivor lap,’ the first lap around
the track walked by cancer survivors in dedication to other survivors on Friday,
May 3 at 7 p.m. and volunteers will continue to walk in teams of 12 until 9
a.m. on May 4th. The event is set up in relay style so that at least one member
from each team will be walking at all times all night.
‘I would recommend people getting their friends, classmates, or family
members together and forming teams and coming down to walk,’ said
Gail Tuohey, a partner with the American Cancer Society. ‘It’#146;s a
very touching and fun event.’
Along with live entertainment provided by SBU clubs, a special memorial called
the Luminary Ceremony in memory of cancer victims is set for 9:30 p.m. Luminary
bags will be lit around the track to honor those who have survived or to remember
those who have died. All money from the Luminary Ceremony will be added to the
donations as well.
‘It’#146;s a very moving part of the event,’ Tuohey said. ‘It’#146;s
definitely a beautiful and awesome sight to see so many people gathered together
for such an important cause.’
If you aren’#146;t up for the 15 hour walk, sponsoring a friend is another
way to get involved because that is where the actual money is collected.
All donations from the event will go to research and Suffolk County advocacy
programs that help patients living with cancer.
‘We’#146;re so grateful to Stony Brook University and their wonderful
students like Jean Haggerty, for spearheading and supporting Relay for Life,’