Relay for Life Finishes Run at Haven with Successful 2019 Event

Laughs were shared and tears were shed during the school’s emotional last Relay for Life.


Editorial Board

The Wallingford-Swarthmore community gathered on King Field on Saturday, April 27, 2019, to celebrate Strath Haven’s last annual Relay for Life event.
Over $30,000 dollars was raised before and during the event, with 65 teams registered. Teams came from all over the area — among the participants were elementary and middle schoolers, Strath Haven alumni, WSSD teachers, and community members, along with high schoolers.
The event was run by seniors and committee leaders Ava Fowler, Dana Hubbell, and Abby MacPherson, with the help of publicity leaders Erin O’Brien and Bethany Anderson.
Strath Haven High School Spanish teacher Mrs. Jo-Ann Morris-Brady has been the faculty advisor for Relay for Life for many years and has helped tremendously with the success of the event. Because of her large contributions to Haven’s Relay for Life, the event is retiring with her this year.
This year’s Relay for Life, however, proved incredibly successful despite its run at Haven coming to an end.
The day opened up with a touching speech by Haven English teacher Mr. Kevin Haney, who encouraged the audience to let go of their fear when facing troubling times. Haney then led the opening lap of the Relay.
Around midday was the Survivor Ceremony and Luncheon. Haven history teacher Mrs. Claudia Carlsson gave an emotional speech during the ceremony, after which all survivors and their families and caretakers at the event were invited into the main tent for lunch.
A couple of event-wide games were hosted over the course of the day to create some friendly competition, such as the Scavenger Hunt and the Water Balloon Toss.
Also throughout the day were the WSSD elementary school mini-walks, to celebrate the work that the elementary schools have done for Relay for Life and to thank them for their involvement.
In the evening, the main tent housed a lively Quizzo game hosted by Haven math teacher Mr. Andrew Benzing.
Things slowed down with the Luminaria Ceremony, one of the most emotional parts of the event. Haven students Julia and Andrew Lowman delivered a heartfelt speech about three loved ones they lost to cancer.
Following the Lowmans, Haven science teacher Ms. Sheryl Ursillo spoke about her experience with breast cancer, and thanked her friends and family for all of their love and support.
Participants then walked quietly around the track, which was illuminated with purple luminaria. In the away stands, the word “CURE” was lit up by luminaria in purple. The Silvertones sang a selection of quiet, sweet songs while many people hugged and cried.
Ultimately, 2019 Relay for Life was a success. “We were all really happy with the success of our efforts,” says committee leader Abby MacPherson. “We worked incredibly hard throughout the year and I’m proud of all we, as a school and community, accomplished.”