Thursday, June 13, 2024

Students fight back

Nine hundred forty-eight Plattsburgh State students, faculty, staff and community members filed into the PSUC Field House with sleeping bags, pillows and snacks piled high in their arms, ready to commit the next 12 hours to walk the track, play games, celebrate and remember the lives of cancer survivors and those who lost their fight to the disease but also to fundraise for a cure at PSUC’s 10th annual Relay for Life this past Friday.

The PSUC chapter of Colleges Against Cancer, a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty and staff dedicated to eliminating cancer by working to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society, set up and organized the event. This year’s birthday theme was inspired by the slogan for the American Cancer Society, “Fighting for more birthdays,” and also plays on PSUC’s Relay for Life’s 10th birthday.

PSUC junior and CAC Public Relations Chair Marco DiGirolomo said the chapter set its goals much higher than last year, a $10,000 increase from $55,000 to $65,000, due to the group’s desire to raise even more money for the American Cancer Society. DiGirolomo said that even though the group hasn’t met their goal yet, that does not mean they aren’t going to, and is confident they will.

“Last year at this time we had a little under $55,000 raised, but we had until August to continue raising money, so by then we had met our goal,” DiGirolomo said. “Right now we already beat last year’s goal, we are at about $56,000 and that puts us in a really good spot to reach our goal.”

Another main focus of the group this year was to make sure participants would be entertained for the entirety of the event, and they did this by having at least one performance or activity every hour.

PSUC senior and Relay Co-Chairs Stephanie Waldron and Amy Sheldon’s positions task them with setting up all of the food, lights, equipment and fundraising aspects of relay.

Waldron said she was confident that she, Sheldon and the rest of CAC were able to provide consistent and enthralling entertainment for the entire event. She said they took suggestions that participants made previous years and used input during meetings leading up to the event to decide which groups would perform and what mini-events would take place.

“We did a lot of listening to what people liked in the past and things that were brought up during our team captain meetings throughout the semester,” Waldron said. “We are also all college kids putting on the event, so I like to think we know what college kids like, too.”

After the event ended, DiGirolomo said he was as pleased as Waldron hoped everyone would be with how the entertainment went that night and the following morning.

After the event ended, DiGirolomo said he was as pleased as Waldron hoped everyone would be with the entertainment went that night and the following morning.

“I felt that everyone was very vibrant for most of the night,” DiGirolomo said. “Around 3 a.m. people started fading, but last year I noticed people doing that around 1 a.m., so that was good.”
The 948 participants, who constituted 56 teams, were also an increase compared to the previous year.

PSUC junior and Teams Co-chair Casey Garrigan was part of the reason that there was an improved number of participants.

“Most of my job is to recruit teams and work with the team captains to relay information to them about what is going on,” Garrigan said. “We did really well this year, everything is going great and we are very happy.”

PSUC came together for one night to walk and have fun, all while raising money for a cure for cancer. The money raised will be part of something that allows those fighting cancer to celebrate many more birthdays.

Email Bailey Carlin at

- Advertisment -spot_img