Over 400 people turned out for Brewster’s Relay for Life on June 4th to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those lost to cancer and walk the track to raise funds to fight back.
At the Opening Ceremony, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Michelle Gosh gave an emotional tribute to Zachary Schwartz, a Brewster student who died of Leukemia in 2019–he would have been graduating next week from the high school. Joelle Schwartz, Zachary’s mother and a teacher at C.V. Starr Intermediate, spoke passionately about her own battle with cancer, her mother’s battle and of course her son, Zach’s. Through her dedication, Brewster's Relay family continues to keep Zach’s spirit alive through this event each year.
Brewster raised over $50,000 and is still counting. Brewster Students Against Cancer led by Michelle Villano raised almost $9500. Wells Middle School Students Against Cancer led by Leslie Holiday raised almost $2500. All this was done through bake sales in the community and in the schools, through t-shirt sales this past fall in honor of Zachary Schwartz.
As a senior, it meant a lot for Madison Dakin to be able to be involved with BSAC with her peers, and some of her best friends. “Zach was someone we all truly admired, and continue to admire, so over the course of this year and during Relay for Life, we decided we wanted to put the utmost emphasis on continuing his legacy through the organization ZACC Attack–Zach Attacks Childhood Cancer–that he created himself,” said Dakin.
At sunset, the track was illuminated with hundreds of Luminaria Bags dedicated to all those loved ones impacted by cancer. The students from JFK Elementary School, in an effort led by Francine Monti, raised almost $6,000 and decorated over 400 bags. First grader Megan Cardona said, "when I was decorating, I was thinking about people with cancer." Her classmate, Savannah Goldberg: "I was thinking about my aunt who passed away from cancer." The Luminaria Ceremony is the most magical part of Relay. It is when everyone comes together on the field to remember, honor and celebrate loved ones and walks a silent lap in quiet reflection as a Relay community.