Crusade for a Cure: How Holy Cross Students are Inspiring Hope

written by Steven Sciaraffa

Holy Cross High School hosted the 2021 Relay for Life of Greater Waterbury on Saturday, September 18th. More than 40 students and faculty participated and raised over $5600 for the American Cancer Society.

“The Relay for Life touched on three really important things,” Dr. Thomas C. Pellegrino, President said, reflecting on the event that weekend, “responsibility of Holy Cross to the community, the impact cancer has directly or indirectly on every life, and that the Relay for Life gives the best definition of our mission and its focus on hope.”

Teams arrived at 3:00 pm, each dressed to represent a season in accordance with the theme: Seasons of Hope. An hour later, the opening ceremony commenced, with the National Anthem performed by Holy Cross student Grace Graziano, ‘22. Kyle Piatak, the Director of Campus Ministry, led the Invocation. 

The opening ceremony concluded with the Lighting of the Torch, and the Survivor and Caregiver laps, followed by the Survivor Reception. The teams, including Holy Cross’s own “Crusade for a Cure”, marched in the Parade of Teams and showed off their seasonal spirit in preparation for the themed laps. The Crusaders did the Summer Lap at 7:15 pm.

Holy Cross Relay for Life

At 8:00 pm, the track was cleared and the Luminaria Ceremony was held in honor of every life affected by cancer. Paper bags with candles inside were lit in remembrance of loved ones lost, and those who are battling or have overcome cancer. The Luminaria circles back to the focus of hope in the mission of Holy Cross, and how the Relay for Life is consistent with the theme.

Nora Mason, Advancement, shared her own story. “In January of 2020, I was diagnosed with stage 2 HER-2 positive breast cancer and also thyroid cancer. I felt like I hit a brick wall and did not know how to get up.”  With the support of others on her journey to beat cancer, Mason is inspired to give back the same way. “I love that Holy Cross hosts the Relay for Life. Students, faculty, staff, family and friends are making a difference in so many lives.”

To make a difference and inspire hope are lessons Holy Cross students learn every day. In October, Holy Cross will be hosting a series of activities and events for Pink Out Month, where students will have even more opportunities to Crusade for a Cure.

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