GCC Relay For Life 2013

Suzanne Smith-Batavia, NY

Relay for Life is a global event sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help bring an end to cancer so that we can celebrate more birthdays.  On Wednesday, May 1, 2013, Genesee Community College, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, hosted the second annual Relay for Life.

This event had three parts; one where we celebrated the success of those who have battled cancer. The second is to remember those who lost the fight against this disease. The third was to fight back against the disease by raising money for the research it takes to cure the incurable. In addition, money raised is used to provide wigs and rides for those who are battling cancer and cannot afford the costs.

A variety of students from various degree programs participated in the walk. WGCC the Music FM college radio station was one of the teams that participated in the walk. WGCC Mighty Warriors, with the guidance of their teacher, Val Bello, assistant professor of communication, fought back with a vengeance by doing bake sales before and during the walk, as well as selling pizza and “Fans of Ann” bracelets to benefit the college professors’ cancer battle.

Joe Shepard and Suzanne Smith, co-managers of WGCC, JT White, sports director, Johnny Kochmanski, Lashay Winfield, Alan Worthington, Josh LoBello, Steve Petty , Steve Trinder program director and Val Bello, assistant professor of communications and Marina Cappellio professor of computer systems-network technology were among the team members of WGCC Mighty Warriors. Marina Cappellino walked in honor of Tim Hinz professor of information technology, leukemia survivor currently battling a tumor near his eye. Marina said, “This was a great way for me to show support to a colleague and friend for his courage.” “According to JT White the laps we planned were crazy sunglasses, chicken dance and water balloon fight; we did this to show our support for any GCC student, faculty and staff fighting this disease.”

Suzanne Smith one of the co-managers of the radio station, is a two year survivor of an incurable bone marrow cancer and is currently in remission; Suzanne and her two sons in picture below


Suzanne said, “My teammates are amazing on and off the air and their support for a cause something so near to my heart is something I will always remember; also we have an amazing teacher that lets us use our creativity in ways that helped us to grow into the students we have become.”

Johnny Kochmanski said, “The Luminaria Ceremony was the most touching for me and remembering my Aunt Sheila who died from cancer was a great way for me to honor her impact in my life.” Luminaria bags spelling out “HOPE” pictured below.

Steve Petty said, “I walked in memory of all of those lost.” According to Joe Shepard, “In all, the WGCC Mighty Warriors raised $140.00 in registration fees and with all donations including ‘Fans of Ann’ bracelets, bake sale and pizza and face painting  we raised close to $400.” According to Johnny Kochmanski, “This was an amazing event to show our support for all those fighting cancer.” Johnny was DJ for the event.

 The event ended with a beautiful display of Chinese lanterns