NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)– Relay For Life of Charleston will hold a Luminaria evening at Park Circle on Friday in honor and memory of people who have been affected by cancer.

The American Cancer Society event will be socially distanced. Participants are encouraged to walk the Circle at their own pace, any time throughout the evening.

W.B. Goodwin Elementary School, a proud top fundraiser, is participating for the tenth year in a

Goodwin will hold a mini relay in their car rider loop, lined with luminary bags in memory or
honor of loved ones.

According to the Charleston County School District, Goodwin teacher Ylonda Nero-Anderson spearheaded the effort along with former co-worker Suzette Schiffiano as a way for the school to give back.

“All the money raised goes to the Cancer Society and the benefits that come from
that include rides to doctor or therapy appointments, a plethora of assistance to
patients and families, and research,” said Schiffiano.

Nero-Anderson and Schiffiano are both cancer survivors. In 2014, Nero-Anderson
was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Schiffiano was diagnosed in 2009 with

“Now this fundraiser is even dearer to us,” said Schiffiano.

They held events throughout the year, such as crowning a king and queen of the
school, dollar dress-down days, loose coin donations, and the sale of luminary
bags. This year they are relying solely on donations and bag sales. To make a
donation or purchase a luminary bag, visit the Relay for Life website and search
Goodwin Gators.

“Seeing those bags and the memorials is emotional if you have any ties to cancer
at all,” said Schiffiano. “When you see a family member’s name, it’s hard not to cry
and even harder not to cry for yourself as a survivor.”

While the world faced a pandemic, cancer did not sleep. Fundraising has been slow
for the school, but Nero-Anderson and Schiffiano are not giving up hope.

“Cancer has gone by the wayside because of COVID-19. I have all the empathy in the world for COVID-19 victims, but we can’t turn our back on cancer,” she said.

Before the pandemic, the school raised about $5,000 each year, totaling an
estimated $45,000. Families, staff, the community, and even students donated.

Luminaria bags are $10/suggested donation. Please donate online at For information, contact Charlie Rowen at 843-790-6212.

Registration is open: Friday, May 7th, 2021 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.