NEW ROCHELLE, N. Y. -- More than 450 people gathered in the Hynes Center at Iona College in New Rochelle for an all-night Relay for Life event April 9 that brought in more than $55,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Iona students walked from 6 p.m.-4 a.m. to show that cancer never sleeps, organizers said. They also participated in events and games, along with a more somber luminaria event -- all to raise money to fight cancer.
This year's theme was "Giving Cancer the Boot," and it included Western attire, scavenger hunts and even a mechanical bull.
Many students were able to share how cancer has affected their families. They also had the opportunity to shave their heads in support of cancer victims or donate hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths wig program, officials said.
The event was coordinated by Iona's Colleges Against Cancer, made up of Iona students. Nikki Molfetas, president of the organization and a cancer survivor said, "Making Relay happen is a lot of work, but it’s an awesome event.
"Everyone gets to come to honor survivors and caregivers and come together as a community, which is truly the best part,” she said.
Donations are still being accepted. Organizers hope to raise $60,000. For details, visit the college's Relay for Life page on the American Cancer Society's website .
Brother Devlin, cancer survivor and Iona director of student success, said money raised through Relay for Life can help lead to new advances in diagnosis and treatment.
“Because of tonight, people are looking at new ways to diagnose cancer," he said. "I was diagnosed with cancer because of a colonoscopy.
"There wasn't a colonoscopy years ago," he said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.