Manchester educators are encouraging students of all ages to participate in an event that has them teaming up with teachers and administrators to fight cancer.
Throughout the year, township elementary schools have been fundraising for Relay for Life, a 24-hour run/walk event that will celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
“All of our schools contribute/participate in some way, including staff, students and parents,” said Lee Bruzaitis, public information officer for Manchester schools.
Manchester’s 2012 event will take place at , June 1 and 2, starting at 5 p.m. both days, with a closing ceremony at 6 a.m. So far there are 200 participants, 33 teams and $6,170 raised for Manchester's Relay for Life event.
Marjorie Stevens, principal at Manchester Township Elementary School, said the High School began this project a few years ago, when the superintendent brought the topic up at an administrators’ meeting.
“When I met with my staff at a faculty meeting, we thought it would be a good idea if MTES started its own team,” Stevens said.
Part of Manchester Township Elementary’s fundraising efforts was a pretzel sale, which raised about $350, Stevens said, helping bring the school's total to $870.
At Whiting School, Principal Fran Scudese said a staff team comprised of both teachers and paraprofessionals will participate in Relay.
“It is such a worthy cause,” she said. “This process of fundraising does take place all year — (a) flower sale in the winter months and pretzel sales throughout the year."
“Paper 'feet' are sold at lunch time for $.50 and posted over the classroom doors to demonstrate the children’s support. A car wash is (also) planned for May to complete the process," Scudese said.
So far, the Whiting Wildcats has raised about $1,104 toward the effort.
At Ridgeway Elementary School, “We feel everyone's reason to Relay is their own personal story,” said Principal Diane Pedroza. “We are encouraging Ridgeway students and staff to raise awareness and funds to support Ridgeway's Relay for Life Team, Bosom Buddies, in an effort to help fight cancer.”
Pedroza said students were invited to participate in Relay Recess during their regularly scheduled recess, where they will be running laps at lunchtime. Staff then will calculate the laps into miles.
On April 17, Ridgeway held a Pink-Out Purple-Out Cancer day, where students were allowed to wear pink or purple to raise awareness for all cancers, especially breast cancer. Ridgeway also hosted a Pretzel Day, as well as Shade Out Cancer event, where students wore sunglasses or a hat to school.
Students were allowed to dress up as their favorite hero to Be a Hero, Help Fight Cancer, On April 20 as long as they brought donation dollar.
Pedroza also said the Ridgeway Relay team received an anonymous gift of $500, and the team has raised about $1,481 in donations.
“We have a lot of momentum going, and people are involved and trying to show true Ridgeway spirit,” she said.