On Friday the 13th, St. John’s University students came together to honor those who have battled, lost loved ones, or know of people that underwent treatment for cancer at the Relay-for-Life event.

Relay-for-life is an event for all to make noise and take action! Each year, there are around 5,000 Relay-for-Life events that take place throughout the world – specifically in over 20 countries. This event was meant to spread awareness, honor loved ones, and most importantly raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society Relay-for-Life movement symbolizes hope and a shared goal to fight back against cancer. The event is an overnight event that is meant to show the constant support of one another and to help fundraise.

St. John’s students congregated in the Carneseca Arena to raise money as a community. This year, the SJU community went above and beyond to set a record by raising over $150K. Not only was this a record for SJU, but it was also very heartwarming to those families that have undergone cancer treatments or have lost people they loved/known.

Sylvie Do-Vu, an SJU student, expressed how amazing the event was. “Attending Relay for multiple years, I have seen the constant growth of the event. The amount of support that is given to those walking is really inspirational and touching.” Sylvie has been attending Relay-for-Life events since she lived in California. “Coming from California, and attending Relay in another state, I see no differences with how people put aside any differences to support one another at this specific event. Everyone is just so supportive and upbeat at any Relay event that I attend. It is really inspiring.”

Throughout the school year, the St. John’s Relay-for-Life team not only hosted numerous fundraisers but also got students pumped-up by giving out Relay souvenirs and treats. This allowed for a constant reminder of the upcoming annual event and showed how great of a community SJU is by coming together.

The night of Relay, many students and families came out to walk to honor, support, and fight. Throughout the night, the crowd was motivated by upbeat music and motivational speeches. There were also many activities and performances that took place that night. The SJU dance team performed an outstanding routine and many other organizations/clubs came out to show their excitement for this annual event. The record for raising money for the event was not the only thing that was set for this year’s Relay, but as well as the overwhelming student participation – which consisted of over 115 teams, student clubs, and Greek organizations.

Many speakers, which included: Vice Presidents of Student Affairs (Kathryn Hutchinson), SJU men’s basketball coach (Chris Mullin), and VP of Academic Affairs; were able to speak at the event to inform the many participants of not only the reason why they are there to walk but as well as encourage them to never give up in the face of cancer.

With the motivation of “why we walk”, Hutchinson reminds the arena that the St. John’s community thrives on assisting those in need and continuously showing compassion for all.