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Hastings High School Students to Walk for Hope

Hastings Walks for Hope PosterA group of Hastings High School students is urging the community to get walking next weekend for a good cause.

Hastings Walks for Hope, a community-oriented take on Relay for Life, will take place next weekend as a way to get community members outside and walking in the name of cancer awareness. The Hastings Youth Council and Hastings Kids Involved Doing Service (KIDS) collaborated with Hastings High School students and members of the Youth Board for the Lower Westchester American Cancer Society (ACS) for the event and are looking forward to seeing some of their neighbors walking next weekend.

“This is truly a good cause,” said Youth Board member and student Isabelle Aiken. “Bringing people together for a walk, it is just a great way that we can do something positive.”

“It's really exciting to just help spread some awareness,” added Youth Board member and student Luisa Scioscia.

The event will have no set route or schedule, with walkers instead choosing their own course. While participants will not have an exact itinerary to follow, the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail and the downtown area of Hastings-on-Hudson will have stations populated by Hastings KIDS members and members of the Youth Board fundraising, cheering walkers on, and spreading the word.

“We are going to have a table with a bunch of awareness and cancer prevention fliers,” said Scioscia.

While the event has traditionally been held in the past as the Hastings-on-Hudson Relay for Life, COVID-19 put fundraising for the cause on an unfortunate hiatus. Members of the Youth Board of ACS said that, while this year has been different for everyone, the disease is still out there.

“It's oddly even more important now because of Covid,” said Aiken. “There's a saying at ACS that we don't just do fundraising, but everything that we do depends on it, and their funding has taken a big hit.”

“It's important because cancer hasn’t stopped, and people are going through the same difficulties, with or without Covid,” added Scioscia.

For Scioscia, like many others, the cause is a personal one, having seen the devastating effects of the disease firsthand with a loved one.

“Seeing a hospital full of patients with cancer really affected me,” she said. “I wanted to be able to do my part and help in any way I could.”

Scioscia found the opportunity to join the ACS through Hastings KIDS. Since joining up, she has participated with other Hastings High School students Aiken, Harin Lee, and Cai Snell to fundraise and educate their peers and the community. While some may not share a firsthand experience with cancer, many members still feel the need to stand and take action—and, in this case, walk.

“Virtually everybody knows someone, or knows someone who knows someone, who's been diagnosed with cancer or has dealt with cancer,” said Aiken. “I wanted to get involved and help, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to get involved, albeit on a small scale, but involvement is still involvement.”

Hastings Walks for Hope will be held June 5-6 you can donate to Hastings Walks for Hope here.