A strong downpour and gusting winds hinted that the day would be a struggle, but struggle, after all, was what Relay for Life is all about.
A student-organized Relay for Life event was held at Gannon University Field honoring those who we’ve lost to cancer as well as survivors with the theme of “When You Wish Upon A Star, A Cure For Cancer Isn't Far.”
One survivor in attendance was one of the University’s own students, Nick Tabar. Tabar spoke about his fight to the crowd of students, faculty, staff and alumni who gathered on the field as cancer survivors were honored.
The day was filled with uplifting spirits, laughs and support of friends and family as various groups and organizations from the University continuously walked the field to raise money for the cause. A bake sale, games, a popsicle sale, a dream catcher sale and other fundraisers were hosted by organizations such as Gannon University Residence Life, Gamma Sigma Sigma service sorority and Alpha Kappa Psi professional business honorary society, among many others.
A “Fight Back” ceremony was ironically interrupted mid-afternoon by a sudden tremendous storm that scattered tents and belongings across the field and forced attendees indoors. As the storm passed and the sun dominated the sky once again, everyone came together even closer in support of one another helping to clean the mess and continue the day full force.
Junior physician assistant, Whitney Douglas organized the event and fundraising. Douglas’ expectations were exceeded not more than halfway through the event, registering over 250 participants and raising over $10,000 in donations. The event came to a peaceful close with a luminary candle ceremony. A calm feeling spread through the crowd while prayers were read and the candle-lit “HOPE” sign began to take form as the guiding light in the darkness of the evening.