Mount Relay for Life raises more than $47,000

April 03, 2014

Newburgh, NY -

Relay for Life 2014

Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, president of Mount Saint Mary College, kicks off Relay for Life. Photo by Lee Ferris.

Mount Saint Mary College’s Relay for Life recently earned $47,300 for the American Cancer Society – topping last year’s total by nearly $10,000 – thanks to the efforts of students, faculty, staff and volunteers from the community.

More than 400 members of nearly 40 teams took turns walking laps from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to honor those who have or were lost to cancer, and to raise money for a cure.

Thirty-two survivors, including students and faculty, were guests of honor.

Survivor Diana Pernicano of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., a sophomore nursing major at the Mount, began her battle against cancer began in fall of 2013: she found a lump in her neck during a hands-on lesson in a nursing class.

She credits the course with saving her life.

Pernicano received treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma immediately, and is now free of the disease. She raised more than $2,000 for the Mount’s Relay for Life this year. To view a video of Pernicano’s story can be seen on YouTube.

The Relay committee of 26 student leaders, led by event chair Anthony Cona of Farmingdale, N.Y., and MSMC Colleges Against Cancer president Kristen Maiberger of Baldwin Place, N.Y., began planning in September 2013.

Relay for Life 2014

Ryan O’Grady of Hyde Park, N.Y., a business-marketing student, with his mother Elaine O’Grady ‘89, Mount dean of admissions. Photo by Lee Ferris.

Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, president of Mount Saint Mary College, kicked off the event.

“A diagnosis of cancer can be a very scary thing,” he said. “As we seek to balance our lives, our health, and our families and friends, in contemplating challenges and tests we face, I think of this saying: I shall pass through the world but once: any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.”

Fr. Mackin applauded everyone in the Relay for Life.

More than 50 percent of Mount students engage in community service as part of their coursework or through club participation.

Over the past five years, the Mount’s teams steadily increased contributions to the American Cancer Society. In 2010, the teams donated $13,413. In 2011, the amount increased to $27,157. In 2012, the total was $28,420, and last year, Mount Saint Mary College teams raised more than $37,000.

The event was sponsored by the Colleges Against Cancer SGA Club, the Student Activities Office, and the American Cancer Society.