Frostburg Relays for Life: Another Successful Year

On Friday, April 25, Frostburg State University (FSU) united with the community to honor cancer survivors and those who have passed, as well as raise money to help with the fight.  FSU has been participating in Relay For Life for the past 13 years. During its participation, FSU has raised over $400,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Like all years before, this relay was a fantastic success. This year 56 teams making 679 participants raised $39,212.47.

“I am enormously proud of everyone who worked to make Relay For Life a success,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “This is literally a year-long event that takes the entire campus to coordinate.”

FSU’s annual Relay For Life event is normally held on Frostburg’s football field. Students, faculty members, community members, friends and relatives all come to support. Relay is normally scheduled from 6 p.m. on Friday until 6 a.m. on Saturday.  Rows of tents and tables set up across the track, but not this year.

Due to thunderstorms, this year’s Relay was moved from the stadium to the Cordts Physical Education Center. Despite the change, this year’s Relay had a great turnout.  Regardless of the small space, students and faculty still came together to participate in such a great cause. Rows of tables somehow made enough room for each team to have their own area, a track to be created, a dance floor and even bouncy tents.

There were numerous activities for everyone to participate in all night. Some of these activities included jousting, Zumba, water pong, bra sack, and sumo wrestling.

Students and groups raised money throughout the night selling raffle tickets, hot dogs, grilled cheese, water and Relay ribbons.

This year’s Relay was hosted by Colleges against Cancer President Maryssa Castillo and Alpha Sigma Tau member Melana Reed.

Relay activities included a Luminaria Ceremony, Fight Back Ceremony and a Survivor’s Lap, in which all cancer survivors at the event took the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer while being cheered on.

The Luminaria ceremony usually consists of candle lighting. However, since the event was moved indoors, there was a safety hazard doing so in the gym. Therefore, glow sticks were chosen instead.

Castillo announced, “We have all in some way been affected by cancer. When I announce how cancer has affected you please break your glow stick.” The sound of sticks breaking after Castillo and Reed began to announce the ways cancer has affected us all took over the room. Tears began to fall and friends held each other’s hands as everyone in FSU’s gym became a family.

Every person at Relay participated in this year’s memorial lap. As students, faculty and community members walked the thin track, music played and the track was lit up with Luminaries purchased in honor of loved ones lost or still fighting their cancer battle.

Top fundraising teams included What’s Up Docs (Pre-professional Medical Society) at $4,341, Alpha Sigma Alpha at $3,012.22 and FSU’s English department with $2,512.80. Top individual totals included Mary Anne Lutz at $959.55, Jennifer Tyrell at $818.12 and Mary Mumper at $591.

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