2017-11-09 / News

Students raise money for local family affected by cancer

BY TANYA TERRY
810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com


Jersey Holzer and Gabriella Parnell (left to right) sold items during lunch with profits going to a local family affected by cancer. 
Photo provided. Jersey Holzer and Gabriella Parnell (left to right) sold items during lunch with profits going to a local family affected by cancer. Photo provided. BURTON — Students in a class called Mind, Body and Soul at Bentley Middle School came up with an idea for a fundraiser for Thoughtful Thursday. Two seventh grade students, Gabriella Parnell and Jersey Holzer, approached their teacher and asked if they could raise money for all types of cancer.

“A teacher passed away Oct. 30 from cancer in Davison,” Parnell said. “Students bought tee shirts to raise money for the family. It was very upsetting because I had known the teacher for a few years. She was my brother’s and sister’s teacher.”

Parnell noticed students at her new school had a Pink Out Game, but didn’t wear pink.

“I thought we should wear pink,” she said.

Holzer said Parnell told her the old school had raised money for the teacher, before she knew the teacher had died.

“I thought it was weird we didn’t do the same type of fundraiser, though, because we’re in the same county,” Holzer said.

Allison Frey, who teaches the Mind, Body and Soul class, said when the two girls brought the idea to her she asked if there were any organizations the class wanted to donate to.

“It was brought to my attention that a family in our district was dealing with cancer,” Frey said.

Several students in the class had family members who had struggled with cancer.

Kaiden Houston said his aunt on his dad’s side is a survivor of breast cancer.

“She has stage II cancer now,” Houston said. “She has leukemia. But she receives treatment, and she is active. She acts like she doesn’t have it. It means a lot that we can help people with cancer so they have less chance of dying from it.”

“My nana had lung cancer,” said Samarah Bailey. “At first, she went through treatment, and she was a survivor. Then, it came back, and she passed away. I know if I’m doing something I can encourage people with cancer to keep fighting, though.”

The students decided to sell bracelets, face tattoos and buttons.

“They thought dollar items would be most successful,” Frey said. “They had to figure out what items on Amazon they would make the most profit with. We did it on Technology Tuesday, and it became a mini math lesson.”

Parnell said the first day the tables were set up the students said they couldn’t believe their idea was actually happening. 72 bracelets and 24 buttons were sold. The face tattoos were discounted to 50 cents to get rid of them. In all, the students raised $112 through the fundraiser, surpassing their goal to raise $100.

Fifty dollars will be given to the family, who ended up recently losing a family member. The rest will be saved in case of another unfortunate circumstance. About 75 percent of the students in the school also wore pink on Pink Out Day. Posters and fliers were plastered around the school to promote the fundraiser, and Holzer painted pink pumpkins for the teachers.

“The students already have ideas for next year to get it started a little sooner,” Frey said. “It showed the kids how good it can make you feel to help somebody at a time of need. It’s our way of letting the family that will receive the money know we are thinking of them.”

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