'Hurst to host second Relay for Life

The second Relay for Life at Mercyhurst College will take place outside the Hermann Student Union from 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, to 1 a.m. Sunday, May 1.

Students will walk in teams for the American Cancer Society for 12 hours, raising money for cancer awareness and research.

In 2010, Relay for Life was the largest student-run philanthropy event at Mercyhurst. Junior Ethan Johns plays an important role as co-chair of the event along with junior Katie Pieh.

Pieh is planning events that represent Relay for Life and its new affiliation, Colleges Against Cancer.

Johns became involved in Relay for Life after he was diagnosed with cancer.

“I was invited to Relay in the spring as a survivor and realized it was a great way to recognize all that the Mercyhurst and Erie communities do to support those with cancer, aim to prevent cancer, and ultimately fight for a cure,” he said.

There is hope that Relay for Life will become an annual event for the Mercyhurst College community. As a graduate of Mercyhurst Prep, Johns would like to see more participation from the high school and also from the Sisters of Mercy.

Sophomore Kaleigh Hubert is another student participating in Relay for Life as a member and captain of the Honors Program team.

“I participate in Relay for Life because I want to make a difference, and I find it to be a very fun and rewarding event,” Hubert said. “There are a number of students interested in walking and helping out, and because Relay for Life hits home for a lot of people, I truly expect that we will gain a great deal of support from our program.”

Hubert participates because her grandmother is fighting liver cancer, and her grandfather overcame prostate cancer a few years ago.

“I walk for the two of them and for everyone else who is and was affected by this awful disease in the hopes that someday, a cure will be found. I have been participating in Relay for Life for the past few years, including last year when Mercyhurst hosted its first Relay for Life on campus,” Hubert said.

This year, Johns and the committee, which in addition to Pieh also includes Lorraine Frownfelter, system/domain administrator and their American Cancer Society representative, are planning to raise at least $25,000 in order to beat last year’s amount.

Johns said they also want to increase the number of teams and participants. There were 32 teams in 2010, and there are 32 teams signed up for this year’s Relay for Life with hope for more.

For more information or to sign up for this year’s Relay for Life, go to relay.mercyhurst.edu.