By Elaine DeLeon
Cal Poly Pomona raised funds to fight cancer during Relay For Life, a 24-hour event held at Bronco Commons that spanned Saturday and Sunday.
Since 2008, CPP has worked with the American Cancer Society to host the event that brings in students, parents and staff to bond over the fight against cancer.
“It is an extremely important cause that funds cancer research and funds important programs to make the lives of cancer patients a little easier, and overall, there really isn’t a better cause out there,” said Sophia Martini, a community manager from the American Cancer Society.
Martini worked as the cancer society’s staff representative, as she collaborated with CPP clubs and organizations to organize the event.
Prior to the Relay For Life, teams were created from those who signed up. During the event, a minimum of one person from each team was expected to walk the track for some time until he or she switched with another member.
Someone from each team walked at all times as a symbol of cancer patients’ unending battles against the disease.
The track was set up around the quad area, where people could run the relay and raise funds. Various booths were set up around the quad area behind the Bronco Bookstore.
“We are walking for those who can’t walk for themselves, and cancer doesn’t sleep, so neither do we,” said Martini.
According to Martini, the relay serves as a fundraiser where people can collect donations from family members and friends.
One of the biggest realities revealed was that anyone can get cancer, no matter his or her age.
“You will learn the specifics of cancer. You are going to learn how to treat and definitely what it is. “You just know that you’re raising money for a good cause,” said Alan Montoya, an event scheduler.
Donations for the American Cancer Society were collected before and during the event.
A Relay for Life committee of 12 CPP students helped host the event by seeking out possible donations and finding cancer survivors willing to participate. Last year, the committee managed to collect $22,000. This year the goal was $30,000.
The Wellness Center also showed its support by providing information pamphlets and hosting educational booths during the event.
This year’s event hosted 14 teams.
“It’s really awesome to just do something as simple as donating our time and a little bit of money to help,” said Desiree Villajin, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha who attended the event.
Students expressed appreciation for the event.
“I think it is an incredibly rewarding experience to know that you are doing something for a greater good, and it has a strong sense of community as you see such a big campus work together towards a common goal,” said Rima Vora, a fourth-year hospitality student and an event leader.
The event highlighted cancer survivors and current cancer patients.
“I want [those who have cancer] to see when they have a challenge that you fight it and you don’t give up as you fight through as you will be stronger in the end,” said Susan Sarrategui, Assistant Principal at International Polytechnic High School and a cancer survivor who participated in the opening ceremony.
In the evening, people gathered around to honor the memory of those they had lost to the disease.
The event ended with a Fight Back ceremony, during which people took personal pledges to prevent the disease by staying healthy and active. Awards were given out to the teams that helped raised the most money.
Agnes Musee / The Poly Post
Relay For Life
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