College Community Raises $100,000 at Relay for Life

April 11, 2017

By Cory True, '09

With another record-breaking fundraising effort, Saint Anselm College's tenth-annual Sr. Pauline Relay for Life collected more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during the all-night event on Friday, April 7 and into Saturday, April 8. At least 1,000 students, faculty, and staff on 66 teams gathered in the Carr Center to honor survivors and those who have lost their battle with cancer, while raising awareness for cancer research and services.

Organized by the college's five service societies, this year's event was co-chaired by seniors Courtney Puccio (Saint Elizabeth Seton Society) and Mackenzie Sullivan (Koinonia Society). Associate Dean of Students Andrew Litz served as the Master of Ceremonies, while Robert "Bob" Shea, director of the Dana Center, filled the role of Grand Marshal and keynote speaker.

In addition to Shea, Jordan Ouellette '17 and David DiMauro '17 spoke to a standing-room-only crowd during the evening's Opening Ceremonies. Prior to a blessing, offered by Father Mathias Durette, O.S.B., the friends and family of the event's namesake, Sr. Pauline Lucier, C.S.C., a longtime campus minister, were also recognized. Kerrin Norton '19, who garnered the top fundraising total of $2,520 among all participants also spoke to the crowd later in the evening.

Two teams surpassed the $10,000 donation mark: The Seton Society and Saint Anselm nurses.

"I couldn't be happier to see the hard work of so many people come together to create such a fantastic night for such a worthy cause," said Puccio. "Relay for Life is the perfect example of what we as a college community are able to accomplish together, and this record breaking year certainly showed that!"

The walking began with a "survivor's lap," during which a number of Saint Anselm community members donned sashes emblazoned with titles of "survivor" and "caregiver" as hundreds of students lined the perimeter of the track. A few hours later, hundreds of luminaria bags were placed, representing a loved one lost, someone currently battling, or anyone who has overcome cancer. The following hour of silent walking, guided only by the glow of the luminaria, was juxtaposed later in the evening with the celebration of survivors when large birthday cakes were served.

During one of the night's more memorable moments, 57 donors participated in the Pantene Beautiful Lengths hair donation. The donations of at least eight inches of hair by each participant will be enough to help create six wigs for women currently battling cancer.

In addition to co-chairs Puccio and Sullivan, presidents Seamus Igo '17 of the King Edward Society, Jonathan Sheedy '17 of the Red Key Society and Mikaela Lachapelle '18 of Alpha Phi Omega offered their assistance in organizing the event.

Last year, more than 960 students, faculty, and staff member participants raised in excess of $96,000.

The Saint Anselm Relay for Life is named in honor of Sr. Pauline Lucier, C.S.C., a former Campus Minister at the college who passed away in May 2009. At the 2008 walk, Sr. Pauline served as the Grand Marshal. The event was named in her memory the following year.