Madeline Mahony is a junior at Stonehill College whose volunteer work and participation with this year’s Relay for Life makes her this week’s campus celebrity. This dedicated and devoted student studied abroad in Ireland last semester, but once she returned to Stonehill she immersed herself in the preparation for events on campus. Madeline embodies a hardworking, involved, and enthusiastic Stonehill student whose commitment to volunteer work is admirable to say the least. This year’s Relay for Life was a great success, and volunteers like Madeline are the ones who can be thanked for that.
What inspired you to join relay this year?
My Aunt Nancy is my inspiration for being part of the Relay Committee. She passed away from skin cancer about five years ago. She was an inspiration to me in so many ways and I wanted to something to honor her. Cancer is truly an awful disease that has affected so many people I loved. I relay not just for them but all those who have to go through it. Being part of Relay for Life has truly opened my eyes to the effect cancer has in our world. I have become more passionate about the cause each year and wish I would have been involved in the cause more while my Aunt Nancy was still alive.
What kind of "behind the scenes work" did you do to prepare for this big event?
On the Relay Committee, I am a member of the Luminaria subcommittee with two other girls. We ran a remembrance ceremony during the event. In the ceremony, we show a slideshow we made which included a compilation of pictures of those have been affected by cancer. These pictures are of loved ones of members of our Stonehill community. Before the event and during the beginning of the ceremony, we sell the luminaria bags that line the track and were lit during the ceremony.
What was the dynamics between you and your other Relay volunteers?
The two girls on the committee with me, Kelly Middleton and Ali Cutillo, have been friends of mine since the very beginning of freshman year. We all decided to join the committee together freshman year and have continued to do it every year since. Relay has definitely brought us closer which has allowed us to work so well together. Planning the ceremony each year has truly been a group effort and I don't think any of us could do it without them. I have had the chance to meet so many wonderful people on the committee. It's so great to meet people who have as much passion as I do to help this cause.
All in all, was Relay as successful as you had hoped?
This year, we collected over 43, 000 dollars. This is the most Stonehill has raised for Relay for Life in the 8 years that it has been going on here. Each year, we have raised more money than the past year. For such a small school, we have been so successful and I am honored to have been a part of it. I really admire everyone on the committee, especially the chairs for all the hard work they put in to the event. This year's event went extremely well and I am so proud of the entire committee. Everyone truly put their heart into the event and it definitely showed. I have high hopes that next year's Relay will be even more successful.
Will you relay next year?
I can't imagine my year without being a part of the committee. It has truly made my Stonehill experience so much better. It has been a great way for me to stay involved and I have loved doing it. Most importantly, I want to do it again as another chance to honor my Aunt Nancy. I do this all for her. She did so much for me when she was alive and I want to give back. I continue to help the cause until the day arrives where cancer no longer exists and people like my Aunt Nancy no longer have to suffer.