Eliminating Fear With Steps of Hope


Madi Dorsey, Editor

In a small community, a large number of people are impacted by cancer. Whether it is themselves who are affected or the people around them, many lives are changed by the disease. To support the many people in our small town who have been challenged by the trials of cancer, the community gathered at the Mercersburg Academy on Feb. 17, 2019, from 1-7 P.M. to participate in the Relay for Life.


The Relay for Life is a fundraiser done in communities to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event should last

To start off Relay for Life, survivors and current fighters of cancer walked the first lap.

from 6-24 hours, and everyone is asked to walk laps around the track the whole time, signifying how cancer never sleeps.


Many people relay for personal reasons. The event allows them to have a time where they can share their experiences with people who have similar experiences.


“I relay for my grandma who is currently battling ovarian cancer and is hopefully in remission; my mom who had cervical cancer, and my brother’s dad who died from leukemia,” said Shaelyn Kaiser (12).


For other students, instead of walking, they preferred a behind the scenes approach with setting up relay.


“Our motivation was that most of our friends and family members were affected by cancer,” said Alexis Keith (12). “We just thought it was a good idea to raise money for them.”


Throughout Relay, there were many events that took place. Many of them were light-hearted, such as Zumba, Minute-

At Relay for Life, there were many activities throughout the event. During one lap, Seniors Shaelyn Kaiser, Olivia Harmon, Lindsay Ambrisco, Cass Martin, and Maggie Strawoet did Zumba.

to-Win-It, sending people to jail, and rounds were people born in each decade would take a lap. While there were fun events, there were also serious ones that led the focus to the real reason everyone was there: eliminating cancer.


The event opened with Mr. Doug Hoffman telling the crowd about his past experience with cancer, and his current experience. As the event continued, many people bought luminaries for their loved ones who have suffered or fallen to cancer. In the middle of the event, the Luminaria Ceremony began.


As the crowd stood in the dark, the speaker read a poem about cancer being like a birthday cake with twelve candles, each one representing a month that was spent without their loved one. As each month was read, a luminaria was lit. At the end of the speech, everyone was encouraged to go light their loved ones luminaria. After the room was lit up by the array of luminaries, the attendees took silent laps around the track in honor of all of the people afflicted by the deadly disease.


Relay inspired hope, but one of its purposes was to raise money to donate to cancer research. James Buchanan High School decided to raise money through a Mr. Relay Pageant, where the school’s boys went through comical pageant events.


“The pageant was our way to raise the money. We ended [up] raising a lot more than we expected to,” said Keith.


At the end of the Relay week, the pageant raised approximately $800 and the actual Relay for Life over $28,000, with donations still coming in, that was given to the American Cancer Society.


With many people being diagnosed and affected by cancer every day, our community took Relay for Life by the reigns and raised money to abolish the disease for once and for all.