Dedicated to helping the world celebrate more birthdays

By Keith Johnson, '14

There aren’t many events on Ithaca’s campus that require as much preparation and coordination as Ithaca College’s annual Relay for Life. Put on by Ithaca’s Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), this year’s Relay was held in the newly christened Athletics and Events Center on March 23rd, from 4pm-4am. With performances from over 12 different student groups and a large amount of audience participatory activities, this year’s Relay set precedent for years to come.

Park Scholars were well represented throughout the event. Both Megan Devlin and myself are members of Colleges Against Cancer’s executive board, and nine other scholars joined the cause as part of our Park Scholar team. It was an event that brought together nearly a thousand students from campus and nearby areas to all fight for a cure to such a terrible disease.

As the technical coordinator for the event, I oversaw the planning and execution of the staging, lighting and audio systems that powered the main stage. Months of planning paid off, as performers were able to take over the arena during the many acts throughout the night. Featured performers were (in order), Amani Gospel Singers, Samuel Lupowitz & The Ego Band, Hands of Praise, IC Tap Club, On The Floor, IC Dance Team, IC Circus, IC Ballroom, Chris Carpenter and Premium Blend.

Ithacappella made their usual headlining appearance and led the American Cancer Society’s staple Luminaria Ceremony. The ceremony was definitely one of those “you had to be there” type of moments. Every participant was handed a white glow stick and was told to leave it in tact until the right moment. Everyone in the arena formed a seated crowd in front of the stage as all of the arena lights went out. A sole spotlight on the president of CAC, Emily Gaffney, and CAC’s vice president, Chad McClelland, as they spoke to the silent crowd. Individuals were asked to stand, break their glow-sticks, and walk to the surrounding track. Ithacappella took the stage and dim lights lit their performance as their voices guided the attendees around the track in silent laps of remembrance.

Relay for Life helps to define the passion for service that the Ithaca College community has for countless causes. It was an event organized and executed by over one hundred individuals, attended by nearly a thousand and an event that left a lasting impression with all who attended.

Ithaca College raised $58,000 towards helping the world celebrate more birthdays.


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