Relay For Life Recap


This photo taken by Lauren Faltas shows senior Eden Rivera having fun at the silent disco tent.

By Leah Caruso, Staff Writer

A day of remembering and honoring people that have lost their lives to cancer or have survived this terrible disease. A day to come together as a community and raise money/awareness for this deadly illness. Cancer has touched so many lives and everyone knows someone that has been affected by this horrible illness.

On Saturday, May 21, the town of Wayne came together for a fun event, Relay For Life, that took place at Wayne Valley High School, from 2 P.M- 2 A.M. Our hardworking Event Leads: Leah Caruso, Taylor Smith and Alex Schmitt worked tirelessly to make this event as awesome as it was. The three event leads had help from their Co-chairs: Mia Rivera, Valentina Coppola, and Gianna Casamassina. The point of having this event take place is to raise money to help find a cure for cancer and give back to the American Cancer Society, while also supporting one another and remembering the lives that we have lost.

Wayne has been having this event for more than 15 years and still is something everyone loves to be a part of and joins. This event is run strictly by 86 highschool students, form both Valley and Hills. Being a part of this committee takes a lot of hardwork and dedication. You have to be willing to put in time to attend the monthly meetings, call businesses to donate money or be sponsors, figure out what kind of decorations we will have, make posters, plan out what food/snacks we will offer, find entertainment, make the speeches, and also continue raising as much money as possible. Every year, we set the goal for $100,000 and we haven’t been very close to hitting that, but this year is different. So far, we are over $90,000. It is amazing to see how much money people can raise and are willing to give for such an important cause. It’s impressive that we raised this much money because just a week and a half ago we were at $45,000. This money raised goes towards wigs for people when they lose their hair, going towards transportation for patients, and towards research to find a cure. 

The event started off with people coming in to register at 2 P.M, setting up their tents and getting their team settled. We had our registration committee check everyone in, give people wristbands, and then check to see if they raised their $100 in order to stay overnight. Once a person was checked in, they could start having fun. By 4 o’clock, all the teams arrived and everyone gathered together at the turf for the opening ceremony. During this time, the Event Leads and Co-chairs spoke about how this event started and why we relay. There was also a few guest speakers, including the mayor. As a committee, we thought it was only right to honor sweet Rocco Sivollela at this event. Rocco sadly passed away on May 17th after battling cancer. He was loved by so many and taken too soon. We honored him by writing a message on orange balloons. This event was for you Rocco! We will continue to fight and raise money so that no one has to deal with the pain his family has dealt with.

Through the afternoon and into the evening, we had many different activities to keep everyone occupied and having fun. We had a dunk tank where you pay five dollars to dunk someone, a jail where you pay five dollars to put someone in and they can’t get out unless someone pays five dollars, water guns, pie in the face, pie eating contest, silent disco where you can listen to music on headphones and dance, spike ball, and corn hole. Everyone had to pay five dollars if they wanted a water gun and those were very popular, because of how hot it was. If you wanted to pie someone that was also five dollars. All of these activities were a big hit and everyone had a great time.

Another thing we had was a Miss Relay pageant where boys dressed up as a girl and walked down the track like it was a runway. We had three contests in which people paid five dollars to have them participate. Everyone laughed and thought it was fun. The boys used clothing that girls brought or any accessories they could find to wear. Besides those activities, we had an ice cream truck, and lots of people bought a something  to cool off from the heat. Swip ‘N Swirl was generous enough to donate 20% of their profits to us as a donation.

Throughout the event we had a DJ blasting music that everyone loved, and we had more speeches as the sun went down. We had a fightback ceremony where everyone came together to listen to a junior from Valley, Ella Rudd, speak about how she dealt with her brother battling cancer, and what it was like for her as a young kid to watch her brother go through it.

The most emotional ceremony was the luminaria ceremony. Before the ceremony begins, we line the track with bags that people decorated to dedicate to someone battling cancer or who has sadly passed away, and then spell out CURE on the bleachers with more bags. The committee passes out glow sticks to everyone on the turf and then asks them to crack the sticks when they hear what applies to them. For example, “Please crack your glow stick if you are here for a grandparent”. While you hear the cracks of the glow sticks, it fills you with sadness for all the people that have been affected by cancer because you don’t realize how many people in the community have been touched by it. After the emotional ceremony we all walk the track to honor everyone we have lost to cancer. Seeing people cry just makes you want to raise even more money to find a cure. From midnight to 2 A.M, the teams continued to play games on the turf, walk the track, or just sit and talk with friends. 

Being one of the event leads, I am so thrilled with the turnout and how much money we have raised so far. All I wanted was for people to have fun and spread awareness, and that’s what happened. This organization is important to me and I will forever be grateful that I had the opportunity to be in charge of running and planning this great event for my town. Cancer is something that everyone has a story about, whether it’s relates to themselves personally, a family member, or a friend. Hopefully, by August, we can hit out goal of $100,000. If you would like to donate, please go to the following link:

Relay For Life
The logo for American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life