The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Chatham's Relay for Life raises thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Over the past few years, Relay for Life has become a widely anticipated event on the Chatham University campus. This 12-hour marathon of sorts, held annually to raise money for the American Cancer Society, occurred on Friday, February 6 from noon until midnight.

The day began with “Dine & Dance,” hosted by Swing City Pittsburgh instructor Jared Clemens. Clemens and his fellow dancers donated their time to teach a Swing Dance Class during Relay’s lunch hour.

In addition to Chatham Students shaking their tail feathers, there was the opportunity to duct tape Zauyah Waite, Dean of Students, to the wall by purchasing a strip of tape for a dollar.

After lunch, Maxon Towers Salon made an appearance and offered haircuts and manicures, with all proceeds benefiting Relay For Life.

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Following this, Social Work In Real Life (SWIRL) dominated the gym floor as they offered Relay participants the opportunity to make tie blankets.

At 4:00 p.m., the step team from Central Catholic High School performed as a part of the survivor social hour.

At 5:00 p.m., in a slight change of pace from previous years, Chatham’s Relay for Life held its first ever survivor ceremony.

After an introduction from co-chair of the Relay for Life Committee, sophomore Lynzy Groves, the keynote speaker, adjunct professor and cancer survivor Dr. Kathy Harrington took the stage.

Harrington began her speech by saying, “I am a cancer survivor, and I’m proud of it.”  She then went on to inspire the audience by saying, “we get through it because you’re our family, you pray for us, and you hope.”

“Thank you for helping me through my journey,” she continued, “and for helping all the people you don’t even know you’re helping today.”

Harrington then lightened the mood by talking about her various wigs, and how one made her look like Carol Brady, from “The Brady Bunch.”  Afterwards she ran her hand through her hair and proudly proclaimed, “This is my real hair.”

Harrington encouraged everyone to continue to persevere to find a cure for cancer because, “you are all superstars.” She finished by saying, “Hope and excellence live at Chatham University.”

Afterwards, Chatham’s American Cancer Society representative Laurie Nicolson came to the stage.

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

After saying a few words, she asked that everyone take a glow stick and crack them when she mentioned a figure in their life who was affected by cancer. She then read through a list of family members and acquaintances, starting with parents and ending with a friend. By the end, everyone’s glow stick was glowing.

“Someday, we won’t have to be afraid,” Nicolson said, fighting to keep her voice steady.  “We will not give up the fight.”

It was a tearful ceremony that ended with a survivor lap, where the survivors lead everyone around the track. Chatham senior and current cancer patient Eir Rovira led the way, and as survivors made their way up to the track, they were handed a pink carnation.

“We need to remember the people we’ve lost,” said first year Imani Constant.   She went on to say that she lost a friend to cancer a few days before Christmas, saying, “You should live your life like you’re not going to see another day. Be kind, be generous, be loving, and be around to support each other.”

Sophomore Maryem Aslam agreed, saying, “It’s really uplifting seeing people supporting everyone who has lost someone…and giving hope to everyone whose lives have been touched by cancer.”

The rest of the night was packed full of entertainment. Starting at 8:00 p.m. was the entertainment hour with special appearances by the University of Pittsburgh’s Hip Hop Dance Crew, “Pitches and Tones,” and Chatham alumna Olivia Traini, who performed stand-up comedy.

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Relay For Life was also a part of Chatham’s Hall Olympics. Some of the activities included a boxcar race, live Battleship in the pool, and Capture the Flag.

Hall Olympics also sponsored a penny war between the residence halls, and at Relay Devin Fabian, Coordinator of Residence Life, announced that Woodland Hall won.

Additionally, all day there was an inflatable Velcro wall, an inflatable jousting ring, and a silent auction of baskets donated by local businesses.

Towards the end of the night, it was announced that the goal of $10,000 had been reached which meant that three Student Affairs staff members were getting ‘slimed.’ Throughout the day, people could place money in the jar of the staff member who they wanted to see get slimed. The top three staff members who raised the most money were Coordinator of Residence Life and Student Activities Devin Fabian, Coordinator of Residence Life and Student Activities Emily Fidago, and Assistant Dean of Career Development Dr. Sean McGreevey.

The whole atmosphere of the event was captured perfectly by first year Alex Waasdorp, who, when asked why she attended, said, “I came out to support friends, like Eir, and the Chatham community, who are near and dear to my heart. Coming together for a cause, even if you can’t give money, is so important.”

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