… and Hope Following the 10th Annual Relay for Life of Chappaqua
Article and Photo by Gillian Hand
On May 20th, the field in front of Bell Middle School was transformed. Tents and tables sprung up across the property as Greeley students prepared to spend the night at one of the most anticipated fundraising events of the year: the 10th Annual Relay for Life of Chappaqua. All night long, these participants would walk in support of cancer patients, raising money for research and fostering hope for a world without cancer.
The dedication to finding a cure runs strong in this American Cancer Society event, bringing communities together across the globe and right here in Chappaqua. Although no words can do it justice, this Relay for Life slogan is a true testament to the nature and goals of this inspiring event: “Celebrate. Remember. Fight back.”
2017 marked the tenth year of Chappaqua’s participation in Relay for Life. For one decade, students at Horace Greeley High School have come together to raise money for cancer research and have walked the track throughout the night in support of all those who have been touched by cancer. This year, the reconstruction of the Greeley track and field facilities prompted the event’s move to downtown Chappaqua.
While this would mark the first year that the fundraiser would be held anywhere but the Greeley property, the new location of Bell Middle School enhanced community involvement and inspired increased participation of local merchants and residents. Although the Bell facilities do not include a track, committee members from the Greeley club worked throughout the day to prepare the grounds for the fundraiser and mimic the setup of past years. While it was certainly a change from the previous events held at Greeley, the Chappaqua administration partnered with the Relay for Life of Chappaqua executive board to help ease the transition and make the event the great success it has been in the past.
I served on the Relay planning committee and executive board throughout my four years at Greeley. Behind the scenes, this dedicated Greeley club prepares for the event throughout the year, organizes the setup and cleanup of the event grounds, and works tirelessly to ensure that the night runs smoothly. It has been an honor to not only take part in such an inspiring and worthy event, but to also lend a personal hand in the successful planning and execution of the fundraiser. Each year, I have been privileged to watch the event grow and develop at every stage, present for everything from the early months of planning to the sun rising over the field after a night of walking.
Relay for Life is extraordinary. By rallying behind friends or family members touched by the disease or simply staying the night despite heavy rain or cold temperatures, these students prove themselves year after year as true supporters of the cause. It is incredible to see students, families, Greeley faculty members, and other Chappaqua residents coming together in hope and support; Relay for Life of Chappaqua has shown me how successful we can be when we unite behind a common goal. Nearly everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, and with an event like Relay, the entire community can work together to foster change and progress in cancer research. While I am looking forward to continuing my participation in college, I am excited to watch Relay for Life of Chappaqua continue to grow and succeed.
At the time of the writing of this article, the 2017 Relay for Life of Chappaqua had raised over $170,000 for the American Cancer Society, and this number will only go up. Relay for Life is something that both Greeley and Chappaqua as a whole can be proud of.
To donate to Relay for Life of Chappaqua, visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY17EA?pg=entry&fr_id=79440.
Inside Press Intern Gillian Hand is a senior at Greeley.