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Mercyhurst’s Relay for Life set for April 30

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

File Photo: Relay for Life 2015

Mercyhurst University students are well on their way toward their goal of raising $20,000 for the American Cancer Society with their 6th annual campus Relay for Life.

Thirty teams with about 200 participants have already donated nearly $7,000 toward the goal. The remainder of the money is expected to come in on Saturday, April 30, when the teams relay in Garvey Park from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Team members pay a registration fee of $10 each, but many also stage fundraisers in advance or at the Relay and solicit contributions from family and friends.

Senior Jocelyn Yahner is chairing the event. She’s been involved with Relay for Life since high school. Though she’s thankful that no one in her family has had to face cancer, she says she’s seen how the event helps those who do have cancer. “It is such an uplifting event and it gives hope to so many people battling cancer and to those who have been able to fight it,” she says. “Spreading awareness and encouraging people to not give up is why I Relay.”

Yahner’s committee of 25 has been at work since September, planning a full day of fun with a movie theme: Lights, Camera, Relay!

They’ve scheduled entertainment throughout the day, including The Romantic Era, The Six Year Stretch, Brenna Nicole Bone, Eric Brewer and Friends, the Mercyhurst dance team and athletic band, and more. They’ve booked a mechanical bull and a cliffhanger inflatable game, and they’ll be handing out prizes like selfie sticks, sunglasses, beaded necklaces, leis and glow sticks.

Registered participants will also enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, including food donated by Jo’s Brooklyn Bagels, Jimmy John’s, and desserts made by the Mercyhurst hospitality department.

The popular Pie Your Professor fundraiser is set for 4 p.m. Faculty and staff who’ve agreed to take part this year include Sarah Bennett, Stephanie Blanda, Doug Boudreau, Kristin Collins-Breyfogle, Mike Elnitsky, Heather Garvin, Rob Hoff, Brad Jacobson, Joe Kimball, Brad McGarry, Solveig Santillano, Mary Hembrow Snyder, Carl Voltz and Matt Weaver.

At 6 p.m., cancer survivors will be honored during a special lap, with a dinner for them to follow.

Finally, as darkness falls, luminaria will line the Relay track, each purchased in memory of a loved one lost to cancer or in honor of someone who has fought the disease.

To sign up to take part in the Relay at Mercyhurst or to make a donation, visit the event website at For more information, contact chair Jocelyn Yahner at