Bridget Gilroy ’14, Relay For Life Community Manager
Bridget always had a passion to support those who have been affected by cancer. Losing her father to brain cancer just before her fifth birthday, Bridget was personally affected by the disease early in life. During her freshman year at Merrimack, she had the opportunity to participate in the College’s Relay For Life annual campus event. Motivated to exercise her passion to support others affected by cancer, Bridget felt Relay For Life was a perfect opportunity to get involved on campus, as it allowed her to connect with other students, faculty, community members, and cancer survivors to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Bridget’s involvement with Relay For Life throughout her time at Merrimack led to a chance at her dream career. In March of her senior year she was hired by the American Cancer Society (ACS) as a Relay For Life Community Manager. She now works with Boston area colleges and universities to help in planning their Relay For Life events. From supporting their fundraising efforts, to guiding colleges and universities during the event planning process, Bridget’s goal is for every Relay participant to leave the event feeling empowered and inspired to keep fighting.
“Anyone who has battled cancer or has had a loved one battle cancer knows what an arduous battle that is. When I see people taking what is probably their most difficult experience and using that as inspiration to make someone else’s life better, it never ceases to inspire me.”
We asked Bridget:
What is the best advice you could give current Merrimack students?
Take advantage of the endless opportunities Merrimack has to offer. Merrimack is an amazing school that offers something for everyone. Now is the time to try new things: go to an event you wouldn’t usually go to or join a club you wouldn’t have initially thought to join – do it now because before you know it, you are going to be putting on that cap and gown and accepting your diploma.
What is your Favorite Merrimack memory?
I have so many favorite Merrimack memories - it is so hard to choose just one! I would have to say that our 2014 Relay For Life event was my favorite memory. We had more participants than we had ever had and raised over $50,000 for the American Cancer Society, which was more than we had ever raised before. It was so special to be a part of the committee for four years and to end my Relay For Life career at Merrimack on such a strong note. I am still so proud of that committee for putting on such an amazing event.
Why are you Merrimack Proud?
I am Merrimack Proud because of the extraordinary community that Merrimack provides not only to its immediate members, but to the outside community. Merrimack’s focus on community service both on campus and beyond makes me so incredibly proud to be an alumna of a school who consistently works to make a difference in the world. Between organizations like Live 2 Give, days of service like Mack Gives Back Day, programs like Service Learning and Alternative Spring Break, the members of the Merrimack community are always putting others before themselves and for that I am Merrimack Proud.