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Brewster Students to Honor Former Classmate at Relay for Life


Team ZACC Attack held a fundraiser recently.

Brewster Students Against Cancer – which includes many members of the Brewster High School Class of 2023 – will be walking on behalf of Zach Schwartz, who would have graduated this June, at the Relay For Life event Saturday, June 3 at BHS.

Schwartz passed in 2019 from leukemia.

Relay For Life is a volunteer-led experience that unites communities across the world to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and raise funds to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research and patient support, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer.

“Zach was a kind soul to every person he met,” said senior Juliet Arroyo, Relay for Life officer at BHS. “He left an impact on me and others because of his warmth and fun-loving personality. When I think of Zach, I always remember his contagious smile and how good of a friend he was to all. Zach’s spirit will never be forgotten because of his ability to foster lasting friendships, leaving an impact on the entire community.”

The officers for Brewster Students Against Cancer are dedicated and involved in various sports and clubs, according to Michelle Villano, BHS student advisor for Relay For Life.

“They find the time to show up for countless hours outside of school (weekends and evenings) to raise awareness and funds for cancer,” she said. “It is evident that this group of young adults leads with their heart and is genuinely motivated to make a difference in the life of others.”

Schwartz’ mother, Joelle Schwarts, said it is the family’s hope that her son’s story continues to inspire others to take up the cause to fight cancer. “No child and their family should ever have to suffer through this,” she said.

Joelle Schwartz will be leading team ZACC Attack (Zach Attacks Childhood Cancer) and speaking about her cancer journey, as well as her mother and son’s cancer stories, at the Brewster Relay for Life event. In addition, students, teams, survivors, teachers and administration will share thoughts and stories.

An opening ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. at the high school, 50 Foggintown Road.

Teams and individuals are invited to celebrate cancer survivors, remember/honor those who have lost the battle to cancer, and fight back by fundraising by taking turns walking around a track or path. After dark, luminaria are lit in remembrance of lives touched by cancer.

Since 1985, Relay For Life has raised $6.8 billion, allowing the American Cancer Society to invest $3.1 billion in cancer research, contributing to 3.5 million fewer cancer deaths. Dollars raised each year by more than 250,000 Relay participants across the country help support ACS’s mission in countless ways – providing education and advocating for the needs of cancer patients and their families and providing essential services throughout their cancer journey.

For more information about Brewster Relay For Life, visit relayforlife.org/BrewsterNY.

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