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"IC Hope" against Cancer

Members of IC Hope prepare to march in the 2006 parade of teams.                               Photos by Penny Ciccone ’76

One out of every four people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and only 62 percent will survive. But the Relay for Life, an annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, celebrates survivorship, finds hope in research being done on this devastating disease, and raises money for the American Cancer Society to help more people beat the disease.

This past summer, College bursar Anne Hyland Woodard ’81 stood on Lansing High School’s track, proudly giving the event’s survivor speech; Larry Metzger, M.S. ’87, dean of enrollment planning, followed, by lighting the event’s symbolic flame. Woodard and Metzger, two of many IC community members affected by cancer, then joined others to take the survivor lap around the track. The crowd cheered wildly.

 “I can’t describe what it’s like,” says Woodard, “having all those people cheer you on for conquering something so big.”

Nine years ago IC community members formed the Relay for Life team, known as IC Hope. Since then the IC team has played a significant role in the Tompkins County event. This year IC Hope’s 33 members captured the gold medal for fundraising at the event, with $14,400—almost one-third more than the silver medalists. Woodard, team cocaptain, was the event’s highest individual fundraiser.

Cindy Neal ’91, Tiffany Henry ’03, Patti Banfield, Anne Hyland Woodard ’81, and Terri Jordan  take a break from decorating the tent site.

IC Hope also gathered the most “spirit points” and claimed third-place titles in best tent site decoration and entry in the “Road to Recovery” boxcar competition, in which team members decorate a cardboard box to symbolize all the people who help transport patients to appointments and treatment.

Over two dozen contributors boosted IC Hope’s efforts; many other Ithaca College community members supported the team by donating time and supplies; purchasing raffle tickets, pins, and tee-shirts; and showing up to cheer at the event.

“It’s important for the larger community to see that IC truly cares,” says Woodard, “and that we are a critical part of that larger community.”

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