Like so many other health organizations, The American Cancer Society took a big hit from the pandemic. An organization which prides itself on community driven events and awareness had to shut down many in-person events, and improvise as the world regained its footing. Relay for Life events all across the country were either changed to some kind of digital format or were cancelled altogether. Relay for Life, one of ACS's most signature events, was founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Tacoma, Washington in 1985 to unite communities across the globe to celebrate people who have been touched by cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action for lifesaving change. After two long years of perseverance and determination, one Relay for Life is coming back strong with even more united front than it ever has.

Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses

American Cancer Society, Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses
American Cancer Society, Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses







The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses invites the community to join the movement to honor and remember loved ones and fight back for lifesaving change on April 9, 2022 at University at Albany Lecture Center Concourse. Relay For Life is a community of survivors, caregivers, local citizens, volunteers and participants who believe that the future can be free from cancer and own the power to make that change.

“In Albany we’re thrilled to have 9 campuses put aside their rivalries to coming together for this one
cause. Every dollar raised fuels the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission. The fight against
cancer needs us now more than ever,”  - Stacey McCann, Student Event Lead, Siena Class of 2022.

The 9 Campuses coming together include:

  • Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Albany Law School
  • Hudson Valley Community College
  • Albany Medical College
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Insititute
  • Siena College
  • The College of Saint Rose
  • UAlbany
  • Union College

Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses will open at 3pm on Saturday at the lecture center concourse at UAlbany. The Survivor Lap will be held at 4pm, Luminaria (Remembrance) ceremony at 7pm and closing by 8pm. There will be music, activities and fun laps for those who wish to walk. The event will be indoors, masks are encouraged but not required.

“We share a passion to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer, and
locally its college students coming up with the most innovative ways to do just that... In 2022, almost 1.9 million new cases of cancer will be
diagnosed in the United States. Thanks to that shared passion, the life-saving mission of the American Cancer Society can’t be stopped, ensuring we are here for everyone who needs us.”

-Nick Liporace, Senior Development Manager

Facebook, Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses
Facebook, Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses

An Admiral Helping the Charge

Hudson Valley resident and Arlington High School Class of 2021 graduate Megan Palestro is excited to bring her passion of fighting cancer to college with her. While attending Arlington, Megan was a Relay Team Captain for 3 years and worked with the leadership team her senior year. She was able to personally raise over $3,000, and has said the experience led her to meet fantastic people through the event. "Arlington's relay helped me find my passion in helping others and opened the doors to the countless opportunities that the American Cancer Society has to offer," said Megan.

Megan is no ordinary student at Siena College. She now volunteers nationally on the National Campus & Youth Engagement Team as their new Relay for Life chair. Locally, she is on the Capital Region Campuses Event Leadership Team.

"I am so excited for our event this weekend because I have not attended or helped plan an event since 2019! I am so excited to meet all of our members, survivors, caregivers, and others who share the same passion in fighting back against cancer."

- Megan Palestro

The First $3K Raised This Week Will Be Matched!

Canva, Oh Snap Photography from Getty Images Facebook, Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses
Canva, Oh Snap Photography from Getty Images
Facebook, Relay For Life of the Capital Region Campuses








Relayers will see a second donation hit their page shortly after we hit the $3K mark if they are part of the first $3K raised this week. This helps the performance of the individual teams, but it also ensures more money will be allocated to the cause. You can donate to my team, "Keepin' Company w/ Conor" by donating here, and even join the team!

Why I Relay...

I got into Relay at an early age. A close friend of mine when we were about 3-years-old started his battle with cancer. Each year after, he would lead a team at the Relay for Life in Fishkill. I'd go every year to support his team, and we always had a great time. I remember one year, we were playing manhunt when it got dark, and I ran into the fence at the tennis court. It left like a Looney Tunes-like/Conor-shaped imprint in the fence.

As I grew up, I saw cancer more and more, first with my mother's battle with thyroid cancer, and then unfortunately losing my aunt and godmother to breast cancer at the end of 2015. By freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to perform for the College of St. Rose's Relay for Life. That is what got me in touch with Nick Liporace. Since then, Nick has sent me to dozens of Relay for Life events to offer some live music and assistance. I love seeing how each community comes together in such a loving atmosphere. Throughout college, I was a team leader each year for the Music Industry Student Association, and helped raise hundreds of dollars each year. I was honored when he asked me to be a mentor for the leadership team for the Relay of the Capital Region Campuses.

American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society

How You Can Help

First off, if you're free on Saturday, make a day trip to Albany and join us in person. Everyone is excited to be able to do this live again, and it will feature talents from 9 different colleges. You will find me there at the event running sound, and helping out all over. Say hi, and request a song! Whether you know someone who has attended one of these campuses, you did attend at one point, or simply want to kick cancer's ass, your support would go a long way.

There are many ways to get involved:


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