PLATTSBURGH — The lights were out at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Field House.
Only countless luminaria candles surrounding the indoor track guided the participants of the 2014 Relay for Life, as well as two large gleaming words on opposite sides of the track: CURE and HOPE.
From 6 p.m. April 11 until 6 a.m. April 12, 69 teams, composed of 1,028 registered students of the college and members of the community — some of them cancer survivors — remained strong, walking around the track.
“It was a long night, but it felt good to be there for the cause,” Community Advocate Will Cangialosi said.
“It was great to see so many different groups and organizations all under one roof for the same motive.”
Relay for Life is a community-based fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
More than 5,000 events for the cause take place in 20 countries, according to the organization’s website.
‘REALLY GOOD CAUSE’
From dusk until dawn, Relay’s participants persevered against fatigue.
“I thought it was a lot of fun,” Community Advocate Maria Peerenboom said. “I’m happy I stayed. It was for a really good cause.”
Each participant had his or her own reason to walk, coming together and raising $43,739.28, according to the Relay for Life website.
Some were doing it for loved ones who were or are affected by cancer. Some were there simply to support the cause of raising awareness of cancer and finding a cure.
“Two of my grandparents have died from cancer. My great aunt is a survivor,” said Sean Conklin, who was a ceremonies chair for the event. “I know of a few young people who have had cancer scares.
“I do it for them, and I do it for the people I don’t know but can still help.”
Relay was separated in three main ceremonies.
Kicking off the event, some gave accounts of how cancer had affected them and their families.