Student Movement Against Cancer club closes out the tumultuous year with holiday greetings

Charlotte Gumpel, Staff Writer

At the Student Movement Against Cancer (SMAC) club meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10, general members created holiday cards for the pediatric patients at the NYU Langone Cancer Center in New York City. SMAC advisor Ashleigh Boyce has decided to continue this tradition after two years, as the holiday season comes around and many patients within the NYU Langone Cancer Center have limited visitation with family due to COVID-19 restrictions. Virtual cards with cheery messages and jokes will be sent and distributed to each child in the center, and Boyce hopes it will renew some holiday spirit, even in such an unprecedented year. 

As the year comes to a close, Boyce reflects on the true meaning of being a SMAC member and why so many are attracted to the club in the first place.

“I think so many are attracted to the club because we all have a passion for giving back and to fighting against cancer,” Boyce said. “We all have a story where cancer has impacted us or someone we have known has been impacted.”

Boyce’s words hold weight. reports that one in two people will develop cancer in their lifetime. So, the SMAC club continues to fundraise for the American Cancer Society, the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation, the Sisters Network Mission and many other foundations in hopes of fighting the fight against cancer and supporting those suffering.

The SPFHS SMAC chapter is not a one-man team, however. The 16-member executive board has been tirelessly organizing, fundraising and spreading awareness through social media, meetings and word of mouth.

Reflecting on her first semester as membership chair in the club’s executive board, sophomore Meredith Kenoff finds that even within the unpredictable times, general members have continued to be active and enthusiastic in their participation.

“I am finding that participation is way more, surprisingly,” Kenoff said. “Maybe because virtual school is not too much of a commitment and no one has anywhere to go.”

And Kenoff is right, the SPFHS SMAC chapter has over 140 registered members and has volunteered in several events already. Some of those events include the Rose Checchio Play For Pink Breast Cancer Walk in October, several Dairy Queen, Blaze Pizza, and Chipotle fundraisers and a food drive and candle sale, all in the past three months. 

The executive board has many more events in the making for the new year, and they would like a productive year out of such chaos and tragedy. SMAC is taking in members year round, and the Relay for Life event continues to attract many registrations. Boyce says this to those interested in joining:

“I encourage you to get involved,” Boyce said. “Giving back and working for a cause doesn’t only help those who need it but it helps us as well.”