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Students Get Ready to Relay for Life

Students Get Ready to Relay for Life


Members of SUNY Cortland’s Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) student group are working tirelessly on their annual Relay for Life event, set for Saturday, March 28. The reason is simple, according to club president Shannon Boreali.

“The premise of Relay is that cancer never sleeps, so we shouldn’t either,” Boreali said.

This spring’s all-night event will take place from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. in Park Center Alumni Arena. It will follow a Disney theme and will be built around the slogan: “When you wish upon a star, a cure to cancer is never far.”

Participants can enjoy food, entertainment and the regular staples of Relay for Life events, which include laps around the arena’s indoor track and a luminaria ceremony to honor those who are battling or died from cancer. CAC hopes to raise $30,000 from donations, t-shirt proceeds and other sales.

SUNY Cortland students, employees and local community members can sign up and support the Relay for Life effort any time leading up to this year’s spring celebration.

“You usually can’t go a day without hearing a mention about the disease,” said Boreali, a junior inclusive special education major from Grand Island, N.Y. “Everyone who attends Relay shares that same goal of finding a cure.”

Boreali joined the cause as a high school sophomore, when her grandfather lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. When she came to college, she knew where to channel her extracurricular energy.

“Instead of being angry and upset about it, I wanted to jump in with both feet and give back,” Boreali said. “That’s how all of our group members feel.

hope candles
Last year’s Relay for Life participants
decorated bags and placed candles inside,
spelling out “hope”
on the Park Center
Alumni Arena bleachers.

“We have a group of about 20 that’s just so dedicated because cancer has touched their lives in some way.”

The cause brings countless campus clubs to SUNY Cortland’s hockey arena, with students sticking around throughout the night for the laid-back atmosphere and different activities. This year’s entertainment will include inflatable obstacles, a caricature artist and a DJ as well as performances by the College’s Danceworks, Kickline and other student groups.

Students can join a team on the Relay for Life website or they can start their own with just a few members. 

“Relay’s just a great atmosphere to be a part of, even if you haven’t been affected by cancer,” Boreali said. “There’s just so much positivity and hope.

“It’s contagious.”