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PSU hosts the tenth annual Day to Fight Cancer

Nicole DeGrandpre
Issue date: 10/09/09
Section: News

Luminaries at 10th Annual Day to Fight CancerSaturday, October 3, was the 10th annual Keeping You, Me and Memories Alive Day to Fight Cancer, and despite the rainy weather, many people came out and showed their support.

A celebration of the annual Day to Fight Cancer has been hosted at PSU for the full ten years it has been in existence. It is an all-day event, with a walk-a-thon beginning at noon, and continuing on until 10:00 p.m. It helps Memories, a non-profit organization, raise money to help local families who are currently battling cancer. "People are coming, and they walk, whether they give $5 or $100, it's all going to a great charity. Basically, help people in the community who are affected by cancer, whether it's as small as helping families buy groceries, or giving a donation to a hospital," volunteer Ashley Wolf said.

(Photo of luminaries to the right. Credit: Arlin Goss)

The turnout this year was less than anticipated. Keeping You, Me and Memories Inc. President Kathryn Melanson said "we had hoped for a more, because we had done more advertising, but because of the's hard to say." Though the turnout was fewer than previous years, every bit helps those in need. PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said, "The event is a wonderful opportunity to directly help those who need support, and year after year people step up -- literally -- to make that difference here."

Despite the pouring rain, many student organizations, including the girl's basketball team, swimming and diving team, and the Social Work Club turned out to show their support for the cause. First year Rose Gallagher said, "I'm part of the social work club, and they were doing it, but also I have an uncle that died from cancer, and I saw the signs, so I wanted to do it anyway. It's just nice to do it with a group."

As with Rose, there were many people who attended and volunteered at the Day to Fight Cancer event who have somehow been touched by cancer, like Melanson. "I started as a volunteer after I lost my sister to cancer...and I ended up being president," Melanson said.

Entertainment was a big draw, with many local musicians taking the stage throughout the day, as well as a 50/50 raffle, a $1 sale and face painting. Local celebrities like Betsy Bolan from "Survivor Samoa" and Miss New Hampshire Lindsay Graham also participated in the event.

"After reading up on Keeping You, Me and Memories Alive, it's really inspiring, all they do for the community. I was just really grateful just to be a part of it," Graham said.

The two biggest components of the Day to Fight Cancer were the Walk-a-thon and the luminaries. The Walk-a-thon attracted students and citizens of Plymouth, most of whom have been touched by cancer. Senior Amanda Tanguay said "I just have some people that are close to me that have had cancer, and I lost one of my friends to it, and it just seemed like a nice thing to do on a Saturday afternoon." Others simply wanted to do a good deed. "It just seemed like the right thing to do," PSU student Jonathan Ross said.

The luminaries, paper bags with tea lights inserted, are meant to be placed on the path of the walkers, to remind them what they are walking for. "Each bag is decorated either in memory of someone who has been lost to cancer, or in honor of someone who has survived or is fighting cancer," Melanson said. The luminaries were lit at 7 pm, and though the rain dimmed their light, their message was seen and felt loud and clear.

The biggest accomplishment of the night was felt most by those closest to the cause. "We've survived 10 years," Melanson said, "and we hope that we can keep helping neighbors."

Source: The Clock (Link opens in a new window.)

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