Ramapo Hosts Annual Relay for Life and Raises $40,000

Photo by Sarah Sanchez

Ramapo College participated in the annual Relay for Life event in the Bradley Center on Friday. Friends, family, students, staff and faculty came out for the 12-hour event to fundraise and show their support for those who are battling or have battled cancer. This year’s Relay for Life included 53 teams, 700 participants and raised an estimated $40,000.

According to the American Cancer Society’s website, Relay for Life is, “a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is six to 24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps. Cancer patients don't stop because they're tired, and for one night, neither do we.”

For Ramapo’s event, teams are asked to host tables with fun activities, events or even food that other participants of the event could purchase. Throughout the night, a DJ plays music and activities are facilitated to keep everyone up and motivated. Some of the activities this year included limbo and late night Zumba.

Marissa Caponera, a sophomore at Ramapo who fundraised for the event, spoke briefly about why she decided to participate in Relay for Life: “I’m here because both of my grandparents had cancer and unfortunately lost their battle. It’s really nice to see all of these people coming together to raise awareness and help find a cure.”

Many of the event’s participants share similar stories and attend Relay for Life to honor a memory or support those who are currently fighting the battle.

Jennifer Schoonover, a community manager for Relay for Life and a volunteer, mentioned how delighted she was to see the turnout of the event.

“The college events have a different feel than community events. It’s great to see the younger kids when they realize they are raising money for cancer and doing this for their community.”

The event itself was also put on by the Relay for Life student organization on campus. Marissa Coleman, event chair for Relay for Life, says that planning the event is worth the time involved.

“All the hard work we put into it throughout the entire year is really worth it when you see how much fun people are having and see how much this event really means to them. It’s very rewarding.”

Jessica Bowman, event co-chair for Relay for Life and a survivor of cancer herself, said, “as a childhood cancer survivor, I want to give back to the community and those who have helped me. We work all year long with a great community of students who help put on this event to support cancer patients and their families, which makes all of the hard work worth it.”