April 15, 2016
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Mount student Amanda Pecorella of Fishkill, N.Y. discussed
losing her mother to cancer and how it inspired her to move forward
in her academics and her career.
Mount Saint Mary College’s seventh annual Relay for Life on
Friday, April 8 earned more than $34,000 for the American Cancer
Society, thanks to the efforts of students, faculty, staff, and
volunteers from the community.
More than 400 members of 39 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.
Survivors, including students, faculty, and alumni, were guests
The Mount Relay Leadership Committee was led by psychology major
Shannon Young of Brooklyn, N.Y.; math major Christina Antico of
Smithtown, N.Y.; and sociology-criminology major Kathryn Ulicny of
At the opening ceremony, Mount student Amanda Pecorella of
Fishkill, N.Y., discussed losing her mother to cancer last year.
Though the loss was difficult for her, she said it also motivated
her to excel in all aspects of her life.
“My mom wouldn’t want me to go on with life telling her stories
and missing opportunities because I was sad,” said Pecorella.
“She’s the one who led me to turn all of those emotions that come
with the loss of a loved one into strength that will lead me
further into life, even though she can’t be here with me.”
Pecorella will begin working at Vanacore, DeBenedictus,
DiGovanni & Weddell, LLP, a local accounting firm, on May 31 –
less than two weeks after graduation.
She and her team raised more than $5,000 for the Relay
“Relay creates hope,” she said. “Tonight I celebrate and I
invite you all to celebrate. And I grieve. Do both at the same
time, because that’s ok.”
The luminaria ceremony at the Mount’s Relay for Life
honored those who have passed away from the
Relay participant and cancer survivor, Diana Pernicano of
Yorktown Heights, N.Y. said that her battle against the illness
began in fall 2013 when she found a lump in her neck during a
hands-on lesson in a nursing class. She credits the Mount course
with saving her life. Pernicano received treatment for Hodgkin’s
lymphoma immediately, and is now cancer free.
“As nursing students, we’re taught to spread healthy habits,”
she noted. “Relay for Life is all about healthy programs and
habits, so it’s helped me to become a better nurse.”
Himali Pandya, assistant director of Student Activities, was
pleased with the work of all the Mount students who contributed to
“The Mount is lucky to have so many service-minded students,”
she said. “I was very impressed with their ability to organize the
event and their determination to raise as much as possible to fight
The Mount’s Relay for Life was sponsored by the Colleges Against
Cancer Club, the Student Activities Office, and the American Cancer
The Mount’s Relay for Life has raised about $200,000 to fight
cancer in the past seven years.