Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Relay For Life At Stockton

By Stephanie Russell
Stockton had their 6th annual Relay For Life on Friday, April 13th which lasted for twelve hours from 6:30pm until 6:30am on Saturday. As students gathered their teams to start the event, everyone had come to learn this year’s Relay For Life at Stockton University raised an estimated $30,000.

Relay For Life is a community based fundraising event, it lasts twelve to twenty-four hours. Stockton’s twelve hour Relay For Life was full of fun activities for those who were participating, like Zumba, musical chairs, improv plays, and yoga! It started off with a walk for just the survivors of cancer, then their caretakers joined them in walking, and after those two laps everyone joined in walking the track. Laps were sponsored by organizations like Zeta Tau Alpha, Stockton SET, Panhellenic Council and more. There were things handed out by each organization to those of whom were walking the track.

The man who was running the event, Brian Pluchino, stated “For the Relay For Life program it raises over one-hundred million dollars annually. That money goes towards providing coverage for cancer patients who can’t get to and from their treatments. That gives approximately one-hundred-sixty thousand rides to and from their cancer treatments. They also have a hope lodge, that cancer patients can stay at for free during their treatments through the American Cancer Society. A lot of what these events do, across 20 countries world-wide, is to provide cancer patients with a help line where they can call and talk to someone if they don’t have someone to talk to.”
Lastly stockton’s Relay For Life had a light vigil during the event, each bag was decorated by those who came to the event and represented someone who was affected by cancer. They turned the lights of Big Blue off, allowing the bags to shine. From the floor, event-goers could see the word “HERO” spelled out in the stands. It was truly humbling to see so many bags placed around the track, and that word on the stands resonated with everyone who saw it. Brian Pluchino explained how Stockton got involved in doing Relay For Life, He said that “Someone brought it up while I was a staff member, and approached the Dean Of Students and the Dean Of Students asked if they could bring Relay to Stockton. So we looked into it and gave it a go, and the first year was a staff committee. After the first year we got more and more students involved, since then its been a complete student committee.” It is amazing to see Stockton University’s Relay For Life be a student driven committee. Hopefully, as long as cancer is still a major issue, there will always be events like this to show that there is hope.

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