It was an exceptionally great morning to be Irish on Tuesday, January 14 as Father Ryan proudly accepted the first-ever Pat Flynn Spirit of Relay Award from the American Cancer Society (ACS).
ACS CEO Gary Reedy, as well as ACS Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Bill Cance and many members of the ACS Global Board, were on hand to present the award to this year’s co-chairs of Relay For Life, Madison Ahern ‘20 and Danny Farone ‘20.
Dr. Cance then took time to go to science classes to discuss careers in medicine and research, the work being done in pursuit of a cure for cancer, and the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.
This award is a tremendous honor for the thousands in the Father Ryan community who have selflessly committed countless hours of their time over the past decade in making Father Ryan’s Relay For Life the largest student-led, per capita, Relay For Life in the nation.
Father Ryan's 11th Annual Relay for Life was held on Saturday, October 26 and it was a record-breaking day.
The Father Ryan had been hit particularly hard by cancer over the past year. Former Academic Dean Sara Hayes and Tristan Numbers, a sophomore at Father Ryan, both succumbed to the disease after long and courageous battles. Despite the heavy hearts and a move indoors due to rain, the day was filled with touching tributes and courageous acts of charity, fun and strength.
Hundreds of people packed into the Catignani-Drennan Fieldhouse for the opening survivors walk, and they were greeted to a tremendous surprise when it was announced that Father Ryan will be the first ever national recipient of the Pat Flynn Spirit of Relay Award, given by the American Cancer Society.
Amy Kinker, Strategic Director of Community Development for the American Cancer Society, personally made the drive down to Nashville from Indiana to announce the award. "I can’t tell you how excited I was to attend the Relay For Life of Father Ryan. The presence of all those students, faculty and parents truly filled my purple heart," she said.
After a day of fun and games, including multiple young women cutting their long hair for wig donation, it was announced by co-chairs Madison Ahern '20 and Danny Farone '20 that Father Ryan broke yet another record, raising a whopping $212,277 for cancer research this year. After having already surpassed the $1,000,000 mark last year, Father Ryan is showing no signs of taking their foot off the pedal as they continue the fight for a cure for cancer.
Relay for Life co-chair Madison Ahern '20 served on the Sponsorship and Fundraising Committee last year before becoming co-chair. A four-year football cheerleader and a captain this year, she has been a student representative for four years, and is one of the head student ambassadors. She is involved in FCA, Irish Service Corp, National Honors Society, Eucharistic Ministers, and last year, went on March for Life.
This school year will be a busy one for Danny Farone '20. This St. Rose alumnus is serving as co-chair of the 2019 Relay for Life, one of the biggest events and most successful fundraisers for the American Cancer Society. In addition to that, he is playing Rugby, is a Minister of Holy Communion and a National Honor Society member. And he's taking five AP courses, including AB Calculus, English Literature, Statistics, Environmental Science and Microeconomics.