Friday, April 13, 2012
By SARAH FOOR
During the Relay for Life, volunteers gain sponsorships to raise money for cancer research. Most relays are large events where entire communities gather to remember and celebrate cancer survivors.
The Junior Beta Club at St. Christine School, led by eighth-grade teacher Angela Rozzo, thought a Relay for Life could work on a smaller scale as well. On March 23, the students and staff of the school participated in a Mini-Relay for Life by raising money and walking laps around the school gymnasium.
“Our mini-Relay is part of so many things we do here at the school. For our Beta Club members, it’s a part of their requirement for service to the community. For students, all teachers have introduced lessons about health and the importance of giving in the Catholic faith. It is particularly appropriate for this time of year — our Lenten theme is ‘bring light to others,’” Rozzo explained.
Beta Club members hoped to raise $700, but early on March 23, Rozzo received news from an American Cancer Society official that St. Christine had raised nearly $2,000 through its fundraising. The money will be donated to the local American Cancer Society headquarters in Canfield.
St. Christine students and teachers of all grades each had 20 minutes to take laps around their gym. Early on March 23, third-grade teachers Alaina Chepke and Wendy DelBaccio walked along with their students.
Both teachers took their own approach in teaching their students about the difficult, but nonetheless important, subject of cancer in preparation for the event.
“We shared many prayers and discussions about cancer. I felt it was important to stress the importance of supporting research in any way we can,” said Chepke.
“I taught the students very realistically. I told them how cancer has affected my loved ones and they shared stories of people in their family who suffered or are suffering from the disease as well. Cancer is a reality for so many people, but I urged the students to celebrate survivors and never give up hope,” DelBaccio added.