The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Relay For Life Raises $106,000

Relay for Life: St. John’s students raise $106,000



It’s Friday and all day St. John’s students are ecstatic and grinning from ear to ear about the festivities that will take place that evening. But for what? A concert? A celebrity? A basketball game? As you become curious and ask around, you find out that it is one of St. John’s biggest and most exciting charity events of the year.

Held overnight from Friday evening through Saturday morning, St. John’s held its ninth annual Relay for Life Walkathon in Carnesecca Arena. Over 1,400 students gathered to support those who were affected by cancer and marched around the arena for 12 hours.

This year, the St. John’s community raised $106,000, which will be donated to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society has been the leading cancer research organization for over 100 years, focusing on finding measures of cancer prevention.

The doors opened at 6 a.m., but students were already in line outside Carnesecca beforehand dressed in their team, organization or color gear.
After entering, students checked in and proceeded to the arena floor to find their respective teams and wait for the opening ceremony.

This year’s keynote speaker was Danny Trujillo, the dean of Student Affairs. Although he frequently speaks at different events within the St. John’s community, students were able to see a totally different side of Trujillo at Relay.
He spoke as not only a member of St. John’s, but as a thankful cancer survivor.

Students were inspired by his powerful words and message of thanks and belief that, as a community, we are making a difference in people’s lives.

“It’s amazing, I’ve been coming to Relay for Life every year since the very beginning and every year, it’s more money, more students that come together to support the cause.
Seeing students come together to relate and support not only those who are affected or to support each other is truly remarkable.

“Relay for Life is different than any other event because it’s one that students talk about well beyond the event, and every time it comes around, I see hope: hope to find a cure, and hope for the future,” said Trujillo.

During the traditional luminaria celebration at the opening ceremony, Carnesecca was brightly lit not by lights, but by purple glow sticks held up by participants. Lights were held in the air to commemorate those who have passed from cancer.

Nicole Zimmerman, a junior pharmacy student and a member of Lambda Kappa Sigma, held the top spot for donations by teams. She raised the astonishing amount of $12,000.

“Though thankfully I’ve never had anyone in my family be diagnosed, I’ve been around so many people who were or are being affected.
It’s always amazing to see the number of students here and also nice to know you’re coming together for a big cause and for the ultimate good of those around you,”

The diverse St. John’s community continually strives to do better and better each year for the relay.

“I’m so proud of us,” Manuel Rosas, a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, said. “Knowing that regardless of names and differences we can come together for one cause, to know that even though small, we are making a difference because we are St. John’s.”


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