Wednesday, November 25, 2009

American Cancer Society: Relay for Life

On Saturday November 21, 2009, an American Cancer Society Relay for Life was held at SUNY Cortland in the Lusk Fieldhouse. This is a very special occassion as people put together teams to walk throughout the night to raise money for cancer awareness and cancer research. The relay went from 6pm November 21 to 6am November 22. This was my first time participating in the Relay for Life so I was very excited to be involved.

Earlier this semester, myself and my good friend Patrick Wingler were approached by Alliance of Physical Education Majors (APEM) club president Brandon Herwick to put together a team for relay for life for the physical education majors of SUNY Cortland. Being event coordinators, this was the first task we were given and were excited to get it together. We set up the team online and promoted it through the APEM club meetings, emails online, and word of mouth. We were very happy to be putting something together that would be a part of such an excellent cause.

When it came time for Relay for Life on November 21, myself and Patrick met to gather all of the things we would need for the event. We borrowed a projection screen and dance dance revolution pads from our professor Stephen Yang and brought other activities including an indo board and kan jam for others to play. Set up was a little rough as we were unable to reach the outlet to plug the equipment in but luckily, our good friend Bradley Velten brought an extension cord and we got everything up and running.

Everyone at the event was having a great time. Different tables and booths were set up fundraising for the event. We were going to ask for donations for using our set up but ultimately did not. Throughout the event, there were numerous ceremonies, performances, and activities for all to participate in. The Luminaria ceremony was very touching. Bags lined the track with names of those who have, passed away from, or have beaten cancer. They were illuminated as the fieldhouse lights were turned off and people walked in silence. This was especially meaningful to me as my father has lung cancer and I had a bag placed in support of him.

This was an extraordinary event. I tried to stay all night but ultimately exhaustion and fatigue set in and I had to leave and go to sleep around 1am. We had been at the NYS AHPERD Conference for most of the weekend so I was pretty tired. But all together, the SUNY Cortland Physical Education team reached above our goal of $1,000.00 through donations and sales of wristbands. I am very proud of our accomplishments and hope to exceed this next year!

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