“Every step is one closer to a cure!” This call for action and participation was one shouted continuously by all involved in the big Relay for Life that was held at Alexander Hamilton Elementary School in Glen Rock. Many students from Ridgewood High School were able to get involved and attend this event through Project Interact, a service-oriented club run by Mrs. Feeney and Mrs. Reilly. The event was organized to help raise money for cancer, and this year’s relay alone raised a whopping $84,000.
Participates slept in tents overnight from Saturday to Sunday, and activities went on all night in order to try to keep everyone awake. At the elementary school a track was set up on the grass that ran around the field that served as the location for the relay itself. Throughout the night there were various activities and themed laps to encourage people to walk one more lap. One example of this was the best friend walk, in which participants simply took an extra lap with their best friend. Although in the middle of the night it started to downpour, the dedicated participants in Relay for Life did not let the unfortunate weather rain on their parade, and they continued with the festivities.
Towards the beginning of the event, there was a small ceremony honoring all of the cancer survivors that were there in which all received medals. During this there were a few people who shared their stories and for many people this was their favorite part of the whole event. This was the case for one of the Project Interact leaders, Mrs. Feeney, she said “The most profound parts of the day are when the different survivors speak about their fight and their survival, lots of stories of hope and inspiration and determination, the day is exhausting and uplifting at the same time.” These stories gave much motivation to all those listening to continue to persevere through whatever hard times they may be going through at the moment.
Many people wanted to participate in Relay for Life in honor of a loved one who battled cancer or is currently battling cancer. A devoted project interact member, Amy Schlicht, and the project interact team captain and event coordinator of relay for life, Amanda deVera, both agreed that the Luminaria service was the best part of the event. Amanda said “My favorite part of relay is the Luminaria service. This event takes place around 11 at night. The entire track is surrounded by decorated paper bags, each representing a loved one who fought or is currently fighting against cancer. The silent lap never fails to bring me to tears and I’m so excited to continue my relaying.” Many also agreed that this event brought about many emotions and many agreed that although this service was very sad it was also uplifting at the same time. Amy Schlicht said “Everyone coming together and creating hope and strength together was special.” This event made everyone come together in support of a great cause and raise money while having fun too!
At the end of the day everyone had a blast coming together for a good cause. Students and faculty from Ridgewood High School love to get involved each year and encourage anyone who is interested to join the team in the years to come. Relay for life raises millions of dollars through thousands events that occur around the country each year. This past weekend was a huge success and our Ridgewood Project Interact Team alone achieved our goal of $5,000 and raised nearly $6,000 for the cause.