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April 4, 2008

Third Annual Relay for Life Raises $16,000 for Cancer Research

Hundreds of St. Francis College students, faculty and staff along with friends and relatives from the community were treated to carnival games, karaoke and food April 4, all for a serious cause, the Third Annual Relay For Life, co-sponsored by the College and the American Cancer Society.

The six hour event started with a ceremony of hope and renewal to celebrate the coming together of cancer survivors, caretakers and those there to honor the victims of cancer. The night was dedicated to two men who recently passed away after serving the St. Francis College community for more than thirty years; Brother Thomas O'Neil, O.S.F., who worked in several departments at the College, most recently helping students attend study abroad programs and Spanish professor Dr. Enildo Garcia.

The theme for this year's Relay, was Carnival in Paradise. "We felt the best way to honor our loved ones was to create an ambience of joy, delight, and bliss," said Ruben Gonzalez, Assistant Director of Student Activities. Organizers filled the College's Genovesi Center with music, carnival games, food, prizes, and special presentations.

A record 235 participants were treated to several special events during the night including the Luminaria Ceremony, when candles are placed in bags decorated for the people who lost their battles with cancer and for those still fighting. Committee member, Krystie Leon '10, who read the biographies of our special honorees, commented that, "The Luminaria Ceremony was our highlight of the night. All in attendance were given a quiet moment to walk the Relay track and reflect on the common bond that has brought everyone together for that night." Another committee member Valerie Frangipani '10 added, "Relay for Life is a special night for all because SFC provides a small, intimate setting to pay tribute to our many loved ones touched by cancer."

The night concluded with a ceremony entitled "Fight Back", where participants signed a Hope Banner pledging to fight back against cancer, to lead healthier lives and serve as caretakers for others fighting cancer. This year's Relay For Life raised $16,000, but donations are still being accepted at http://www.events.cancer.org/rflstfranciscollegeny.

The local chapter of the American Cancer Society had nothing but good things to say, "This year's student lead, Relay for Life Committee, executed a near perfect event. SFC students really organized an outstanding night that left a mark for year's to come." St. Francis College and the American Cancer Society are already looking forward to planning the 4th Annual Relay for next spring.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City's five boroughs and beyond.
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St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201
www.sfc.edu