“Thanks to research, nearly 90 percent of children with acute leukemia are now cured,” said Tina Thompson, executive director of the Western PA/West Virginia chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). “But there still is a long way to go. Leukemia affects more children than any other cancer, so LLS’s Student Series Programs provide a meaningful way for kids to help kids. Every penny really does make a difference.”
Ronceverte Elementary students spent two weeks during March focusing on programs they designed, with the help of third grade teacher Nicole Dixon to raise funds to help bring about a world without blood cancers. By contributing their spare change and participating in other special fundraising events, they made “Someday Today.”
On Apr. 1, students at RES raised $555.57 to help fund blood cancer research and provide help and hope to thousands of patients and their families through a school-wide fundraiser and activities for the LLS program.
The fundraising and awareness events kicked off with daily announcements about LLS, facts about cancer and cancer research. Students participated in a coloring contest for grade Pre-K through fifth grade. A variety of various flamingo coloring pictures were hung in the auxiliary gym for judging. Two student’s pictures in each grade level were chosen and received pink and flamingo decorated items.
Each morning during bus hall, students donated 50 cents for a paper flamingo that they cut out, colored, and then placed in a box labeled with a teacher’s name in hopes that the flock would visit that teacher’s room. Students, teachers and staff could purchase as many paper flamingos as they wanted.
In anticipation of the flock visiting their room, students, teachers and staff dressed all in pink and brought in a final donation for the school wide “Pink Out.”
After students in Nicole Dixon’s third grade room counted the “Flamingo” votes, the Flock arrived Friday, Apr. 1, early in the morning. Physical education teacher Terry Tuckwiller won the teacher votes, and the paper flamingos purchased earlier in the week were placed on bulletin board paper around Tuckwiller’s door.
Shortly after announcements, RES students gathered in the hall for a “clap out” recognizing Tony Thompson, fourth grade teacher and winner of the student votes. All students, teachers and staff eagerly awaited his graceful dance down the hallways where he modeled his Flamingo sun visor, pink feathered wristlets, a burlap “Flocked” sash, and beautiful pink silk tutu made by first grade teacher Joanna Elmore.
RES students, teachers and staff are eagerly looking forward to next year’s events for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.