Quinnipiac Relay for Life chapter event exceeds fundraising goal

October 30, 2023

A group of girls wearing Relay for Life tshirts on the quad.

Dozens of survivors, volunteers, student organizations and supporters attended the annual fundraising event hosted by Quinnipiac’s Relay for Life chapter of the American Cancer Society on October 15.

Aine Clarke ’24 and Julia Liberto ’26, who co-chair the campus chapter, expressed their passion for involvement in such a widely recognized organization and their pride in the success of the event.

For Clarke, it has always been personal.

“I’ve grown up going to Relay for Life,” said Clarke. “My grandpa had beat cancer several times in his life, so my family would always go to the one in my hometown and celebrate him being a survivor. Unfortunately, in 2021, he passed away from colon cancer, so now my reason to relay has shifted. I relay to support this great organization with the hope that one day we’ll have a world without cancer.”

Liberto’s reason to relay is a result of her contribution to similar events during high school and the significant effect Relay for Life has had on her local community. She holds great pride in being a part of something bigger and giving survivors the opportunity to share their stories, she shared.

“The disease of cancer is experienced by so many families and it is reassuring to find a sense of comfort in a community of those who are sharing the same experience or are there to show support,” said Liberto.

Each participant was required to register with this specific chapter and donate $15 as their entrance fee, with the encouragement to donate more for the cause. There was the option to register as an individual or as part of a team. The special day kicked off with an opening ceremony honoring survivors and caregivers and continued with participants completing laps around the quad. One person from each team walked at all times, to signify that “cancer never sleeps.”

Various student organizations stepped up to the plate, as well as many locals from the surrounding community.

The organizations included Handprints for Sunshine, Quinnipiac Survivor Advocacy Alliance, American Medical Student Association, Society of Women Engineers, Quinnipiac Cheerleading, Bobcat Project Management, and QTHON. Other groups set up tables such as the Student Programming Board. Musical elements added to the experience; WQAQ 98.1 FM provided music throughout the whole day, Legends A Cappella sang the national anthem and the cheerleading team performed, as well as Quinnipiac Dance.

Crafts, carnival games and raffles were held, as well as the customary Relay for Life luminaria ceremony at dark, which honors those who lost their battles to cancer and reminds everyone of their purpose to relay.

This year’s goal was $10,000 and by the closing of the event — the group raised $11,100 to support cancer research.

“Whether we’re aware of it or not, we all know someone who was affected by cancer,” said Clarke. “This is a great opportunity to come together and show that you’re not alone in this fight against such a horrible disease. It’s comforting to know that other people share the same feelings and similar experiences as you. It’s also important to give back. This allows you to take a little time out of your day and raise money for an amazing cause that is so close to many Quinnipiac students’ and staff’s hearts.”

Aside from this annual affair, the chapter spreads cancer awareness in other ways including tabling, QTHON involvement and monthly general board meetings. The fundraising page is open through the end of 2023 so anyone who feels inclined to support can do so.

Clarke and Liberto continue to dedicate their time at Quinnipiac to this organization and everything it stands for.

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