SMC’s ’24 Relay For Life fundraising tops last year

A beautiful May day helped make St. Mary’s College’s 2024 Relay For Life fundraiser a success, topping the $30,000 in donations from 2023.

“The numbers for this year were amazing,” said Abigail Wing, a Grade 12 student at SMC and Co-chair of the school’s 2024 Relay For Life committee. “We had approximately 200 participants with this being only our second time running this event.  

Our goal was to beat last year’s total,” Wing continued. “Last year we raised over $30,000 and so far today we’re at $32,000 with more donations coming in from today.”

The day started with opening remarks from cancer survivor Abbie DiDonato.

DiDonato urged students to “fight” if they should ever encounter the disease.

Then came a Survivor’s Walk, an honorary lap around the track at Father Higgins Field.

The event continued until 11 p.m. last night, with a concluding Survivor’s Walk and luminary ceremonies. 

“Each participant will decorate a luminary bag with why they relay,” explained Wing. “We put candles in them and it’s a time where we all get to reflect on those who have been affected by cancer.”

Few fundraisers are successful without a team effort, and Shannon Sarlo, a SMC English teacher, and one of the staff advisor’s for the Relay For Life Committee, said everyone involved was committed.

“We’re so proud of our committee and all of the students that signed up to participate in the event,” said “They’ve worked really hard to make everything come together. Without kids like that we wouldn’t be able to pull it off.”

Sarlo says fundraising will continue through June, adding it’s possible donations could hit the $40,000 mark.

“That would be amazing for us,” said Sarlo.

Total donations will climb further as elementary schools with the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (H-SCDSB) each held their own fundraisers, said Wing.

Algoma District School Board schools will also hold Relay For Life fundraisers.

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. 

Relay for Life has raised more than $610 million since its inception.

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