The Rocket Flame

Eliminating Fear With Steps of Hope


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.

Volleying For More Than Just a Cure


Rylynn Welsh (9), a freshman starter, attempts to make a kill on the opposing team’s side to bring back JB in points.

Representing something greater than just a battle for a cure, James Buchanan volleyball fought to the end of their game on Oct. 9 against Milton Hershey High School by representing women in our community that have struggled against breast cancer. The stands at the high school were filled with various shades of pink as people came to watch the team and to support a cause that is affecting women around the world.

To challenge Milton Hershey High School, the Lady Rockets Varsity team starts off the game with a team huddle. Putting their hands in and performing their Rocket chant before they take the court to challenge Milton Hershey.

Playing for a cure, Alex Horst (12), a senior, recaps on many memories from her first Pink-Out game to her last. Looking back on the past, a Pink-Out game serves as a different meaning for Horst since her time is up wearing a pink jersey.

“I didn’t think it would go as fast as it did,” said Horst.

Alex Horst(12) reaches above the net to attempt to block the opposing Milton’s middle hitters attempt to make a kill.

With every moment passing by on the court, till the final fourth set of the night, the Lady Rockets were determined until the end, winning the first set at the score of 25-22, but falling short in their last three sets to relinquish the win to Milton Hershey High School.

“The first set we all worked as a team and we came back from a large deficit,” said Horst

Coming up short from a win on a big night, many of the team members had loved ones in mind while they played. Many memories and raw emotions were displayed as breast cancer was found in 252,710 women in 2017.

“My great aunt had breast cancer,” said Horst.

.When asked about her favorite times with her great aunt, she responded, “Going over to her house after elementary school and hanging out with her and eating food, I love food.

A recollection of events close to Alex that she carries throughout the game in thought of her family.

Carly Sollenberger (9), a freshman starter, attempts to set her outside hitter, Alexis Keith (12), to get a kill to take the lead of the game.

Many of the Lady Rockets drive to play is fueled by people close to them that have either fought with cancer or are still fighting. For Alexis Keith (12), a senior at JB, she relates the event differently.

“It made the people with breast cancer realize that they are not alone,” said Alexis

Trying to sustain that passion on the court, Keith reflects on how she felt she played in support of the ladies in the crowd with cancer.

“I think I played well, but there’s always room for improvement,” Keith said.

Supporting the cure for breast cancer, the Lady Rockets held a serving contest by placing Pink Out shirts designed for the game onto the volleyball court after the second set of the game. A person would then donate a dollar for a serve for a chance to win a free shirt. Several participants won a shirt, including the other team showing support by playing.

After the second set, the team placed shirts on the volleyball court and gave their fans a chance to serve the ball in attempt to win a shirt.

Reflecting on the past for a greater future against this fight, we wear pink not just on the volleyball court, but all over the world in October to represent the brave women fighting everyday to win against breast cancer. A tradition for sports nationwide helping familiar ones or a person we barely know rescue their lives.

The Lady Rocket volleyball team would love to give a huge thank you to Stoner’s Dairy Farm for donating the pink jerseys for the game and for the support they give to the community.


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