Students at St. Patrick School in Hubbard kicked off their Catholic Schools week activities with their fourth annual Relay For Life event.
The only school in the Youngstown Diocese that holds an official Relay for Life, students have helped raise more than $10,000 since they began walking for the American Cancer Society.
Students acquire sponsors that donate according to the amount of walking they do. Other fundraisers include loose change collection buckets in each classroom, raffles and the sale of luminaries. This year the students were able to reach their goal of $2,000 collected for the American Cancer Society.
Participants in the St. Patrick School Relay for Life event release balloons during the closing ceremonies. The relay was held at the school to kick off Catholic Schools Week last month. St. Pat’s in the only Catholic school in the Diocese that holds its own relay event.
Opening ceremonies began with speaker Tom Beasley who discussed the story of his family. The Beasley family has a long tradition with St. Patrick School over the past 30 years. Beasley's granddaughter is a recent graduate of St. Patrick's School. He also discussed his experience as a 25-year cancer survivor, as well as the story of his daughter, Rachel, who passed away last year following a battle with skin cancer. Beasley stressed the importance of listening to your body and watching for changes.
One hundred and seventy luminaries were lit in honor of survivors and in memory of those who had lost their battle with cancer. During the luminary ceremony, each name was read as the candles were lit.
The event began with the survivors who were present taking the first lap along with their family members. Following the survivors lap, school walkers then joined in to walk several more laps with each grade walking at 15-minute increments previously assigned. Members of the Phantoms hockey team also walked with the students in the afternoon.
The closing ceremonies included a balloon release for survivors and in memory of those who lost their battle with the disease.