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Westhill Student Organizes First Relay For Life Event At Stamford School

Westhill High School senior Silvana Cordona, right, joined from left: Grace Sinto, American Cancer Society, teacher and cancer survivor Danielle Waring and assistant principal PJ Wax. The Stamford school had its first Relay for Life event Friday.
Westhill High School senior Silvana Cordona, right, joined from left: Grace Sinto, American Cancer Society, teacher and cancer survivor Danielle Waring and assistant principal PJ Wax. The Stamford school had its first Relay for Life event Friday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Silvana Cardona was so impressed when she participated in a Relay for Life event in Ridgefield last year that she thought it should be done at her school.

On Friday, Westhill High School held its first Relay for Life event to raise money to fight cancer, and the school hopes it becomes an annual event. Cardona said students latched onto the idea.

"It was actually really easy because once I branched out to my friends, they branched out to others, and they just dragged in people and they were all enthusiastic about it," said Cardona, a senior at Westhill.

Cardona is planning to attend Fairfield University in September to study nursing and psychology.

PJ Wax, an assistant principal at the school, praised Cardona for her initiative.

"She's an unbelievable young lady," he said about her efforts.

Relay for Life is generally held overnight, but the school event was from 2 to 8 p.m. in order to build a base for future years.

"This year this being our first event we wanted to take baby steps and do it right," Wax said.

Danielle Waring, a former teacher at Westhill who currently is teaching at Turn of River School, is a cancer survivor and was thrilled that her former school is having a Relay for Life.

"I'm so excited that there is a relay here because this is what I really wanted for years," said Waring who has been involved in Relay for Life in the past. Waring was the guest speaker for the event.

Grace Sinto, a representative from the American Cancer Society, said while they had a $30,000 goal for the event, it's secondary to getting people involved in the event.

"We are really just focused on building a community here," she said.

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