Last Saturday, the Friends Academy community came together to honor those with cancer at our 2nd annual Relay For Life. The smaller, more intimate group of participants this year strolled the Luminaria walkway, danced Zumba, sang, and played dodge ball and videogames. As noted by many students and teachers at Friends, this year’s Relay for Life was a success. A variety of students shared what their favorite part of Relay was, and what the Relay committee should change for next year. A few noted how the track should be opened next year, including Bel Evans (’15) and Jack Statfeld (’15). Elana Pinto (’15) and Kira Sanchez (’13) both loved the Zumba. “I really enjoyed the Zumba because it was funny to watch fellow students dance and participate” said Pinto. Sanchez, one of the student coordinators of Relay also said how Zumba was “fun, hilarious… and sweaty.” One of Tony Cortese’s (’15) favorite activities was watching kids come and sing at the open mic, “Next year we should have John O’Brien (’13) come back and sing, I thought that was real funny.” It seems that everyone truly enjoyed the Luminaria ceremony this year. Students expressed how they felt the group came together as a united community, not only at that time but also throughout the entire evening. Sanchez explained that the Relay committee’s goal was to achieve this feeling of unity- “The first year we did relay everything was spread out too far… we felt it would bring a greater sense of community to the night and a more intimate feel for everyone participating.”
Some rumors circulated that Friends Academy and the American Cancer Society were in a disagreement because last year’s Relay event was not exactly to their qualifications. Mr. Morris commented on whether or not this rumor was true- “Philosophically, there is a different sense of what [Relay] should be. American Cancer Society has a template for these events. They have a hard time understanding from our point of view, it’s really about the community, and about having the opportunity for students and families to participate in something together.” As everyone who attended the event noticed, there was a significantly less amount of people who participated than the inaugural event. Mr. Morris, Mr. Baskind, and the Student Life Committee have ideas for change, “There is a question going forward, whether or not to work with [the American Cancer Society] specifically around this kind of event. Maybe [we could be] doing an event that involves a Relay-like element as well as elements of other service our students are doing. Just take a night as a community to celebrate service in general.” Mr. Morris said.
As we go forward into the next school year, Mr. Morris says the Friends Academy community will “definitely have an evening with a similar feel”. Certainly these two nights have been a favorite in the FA community, but don’t expect a conventional Relay For Life event again, maybe a more Quaker approach, “Relay For Service.”