By Staff Writers Amy Chen & Jonathan Ko
In an effort to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society, MSJ hosted its annual Relay for Life overnight relay. Students, faculty, and parents gathered at the MSJ track from the morning of May 13 to that of May 14.
Each of the 52 Relay for Life teams at the event set up a booth around the track with interactive and informative activities for participants to learn about a particular cancer type. Every team had at least one team member walking around the track at any given time, ensuring a continuous 24-hour relay. Teams also sold food, jewelry, and other products throughout the event to raise funds for cancer research.
In addition to the booths and the relay, the event held a tight schedule, consisting of performances, games, ceremonies, and other activities for relayers to enjoy. Syncopasians opened up the relay at 10 a.m. Saturday morning with the national anthem and an a cappella rendition of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.” Later, relayers split up into two teams to play capture the flag, followed by a partner water balloon toss contest, dances from Sleezy Crew and a freshman dance crew, and other activities scattered throughout the afternoon. After dinner, the Luminaria Ceremony took place, with a candlelit walk around the track and a heartfelt rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love” from Seniors Chitra Dassapa and Vincent Chiang. Throughout the night, relayers enjoyed a midnight football game, dance party, movie, Super Smash Bros video game tournament, and more. The relay concluded with a closing ceremony and performances from Junior Mallika Gupta and Seniors Ashlesha Sathe and Jonathan Kretchmer.
Relayers raised more than $15,000 during the event, and a total of $64,075.45 throughout the course of the school year. The top team, Team Glory Days, which consists of 13 faculty members, raised a total of $10,707, exceeding their goal of $9,000. Thaddy World 100 raised $6,143 in honor of their lost loved one, Thaddeus Tran. Other successful teams included Parents Against Cancer, The Answer To Cancer, Cancel Cancer, and The Friend Team.
On why she chose to participate in the event, Sophomore Jessica Wang said, “I relay because cancer is something a lot of us think is not very close to us, but it actually is. Sooner or later, you’ll have someone close to you get cancer, and it really harms you. I relay to make cancer more known to people. It’s really common, and people should take action as soon as they know about it.”
English Teacher and Relay for Life Coordinator John Boegman said, “It’s a celebration of life that we do here, and part of life is death. We just have to realize that it’s all part of the same cycle. In recognizing that because we have this event, it’s a reaffirmation of humanity … What’s being created right here are those bonds of community where people realize what can happen, and what should happen when it does. That’s why I do relay.”
Photos by Staff Writers Amy Chen & Bethany Woo