On Thursday, September 20th, Bay High School’s homecoming bonfire took on a whole new meaning.  Students and community members came out strong to the third annual “Light the Night” walk and bonfire to support those in the community who have been affected by cancer, and to let them know that they were not alone.   

This year Bay was able to raise nearly $7,500 dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by selling “Light the Night” t-shirts and luminary sponsorships along the walking path.  In the last three years of the fundraising, BHS has managed to contribute more than $20,000 to the LLS.

The night started with the participants assembling in Bay Memorial Stadium as the band played the National Anthem and the crowd observed a moment of silence for those who lost their fight against cancer.  Jane Finley (‘20) then gave a rousing speech saluting the community’s support for five students in the Bay Village City School District who have been diagnosed with cancer. Finley also spread the support on to the adults in Bay who have been affected..  In a moving tribute to her best friend, Claire Blevins (‘20), she discussed her own battle with childhood cancer as well as Claire’s more recent, ongoing, fight. Claire was diagnosed in November of 2017, and won’t be finished with her treatment until mid-2020, but has remained a bright, artistic, beacon of joy to those who know her.

Jane Finley, Molly Keane and Claire Blevins.

The five Bay students then lead thousands of community members around the school grounds, their path lit by over 1,200 luminaries. Thousands of red lantern lights held by the attendees marched through the night.

The night ended with a traditional homecoming bonfire on the west lawn.  Participants were serenaded by the marching band as they played tunes like Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and Bay High School’s fight song, “Victory Will be for Bay,” as the Rockettes and cheerleaders performed alongside them.