Journalism Next from Manatee School for the Arts: Students join fight against cancer

Special to the HeraldFebruary 11, 2013 

"Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back," is the motto that the American Cancer Society stands by every year. In a nationwide event, thousands and thousands of people stand up to cancer by relaying for 18 hours straight. This year, the Manatee School for the Arts Student Council has put together a team and will stand up to cancer for the second year in a row.

The team, consisting of 15 people (12 students and three adults), will participate in the 18 hour relay at Anna Maria Island this May. Along with many other faculty members at MSA, the Student Council is relaying for Linda Evans, the school's dean of administrative services. She understands how important that the Relay for Life can be for cancer survivors. "Being a cancer survivor myself, I fully understand the benefit of funding cancer research. I am honored to be a part of the MSA Relay for Life team."

While many of us may be unaware, cancer affects us every day. There are around 200 different types of cancer and around 60 different organs that cancer may affect. Contrary to popular belief, The American Cancer Society does more than just raise money. They help people stay well and also assist in helping people get well. ACS offers many things such as free programs, tests, and community referrals. Also, programs such as Relay for Life help to raise money that produces groundbreaking research that can, and does, save lives.

Whether it comes up in school or at your community church, fundraising is a word that many people dread. However, Relay for

Life has made fundraising a fun, team effort. As the captain of my Relay for Life team, I know firsthand how this fundraising is different from every other.

Any time my parents hear the word fundraising they go into a panic, but fundraising with Relay for Life involves competition and even luck. Luck referring to a scratch-off that the Relay committee gave us to kick-start fundraising. It was actually one of the coolest ways to fundraise that I have seen in a long time. You basically give the card to a friend or family member, and they scratch off any available circle with each circle having either five, ten or fifteen dollars under it.

Christine Lewicki, a junior team member, has a blast with raising money for Relay. "This year, I have done many things to raise money, even if it's just change! I've auctioned off apples to my friends, used the Relay for Life scratch-off and even had my mom match my earnings from doing household chores!"

Whether you are a survivor, caretaker or just a friend of someone who has had cancer, Relay for Life is for you. The whole event is about coming together to fight against cancer and proving that no matter how hard the fight may be, we will never give up. That is the primary reason for MSA participating in Relay for Life.

Even though not everyone on our team has been touched by cancer, the fight is what makes the difference.

Fighting for something you believe in does make an impact, and that is the goal of the MSA relay team, to make a difference in someone's life. "Our students amaze me with their willingness to serve others. They, time and time again, sacrifice their own time in service to the community," a quote from Luis Oliva, teacher and club sponsor, on how club members are making a difference in the local community.

Service to the MSA Student Council has never been about how the community can assist us, but how we can assist the community! Relay for Life is just the perfect occasion for the club to give back on a worldwide scale.

If you would like to make a donation to our team, please contact Luis Oliva at loliva@msfta.org or Linda Evans at levans@msfta.org.

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