UNION — How would you like a world without cancer? Sounds like a wonderful place to live, doesn’t it? Students at Foster Park Elementary School recently did their part to help bring such a world into being by raising $645 to help an organization that’s been working to make the world cancer free for nearly 80 years.
“Pennies for Patients” is a program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) which, according to its website (www.lls.org) “is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients.”
The website states that “since 1949 LLS has been on the forefront of blood cancer advances such as chemotherapies and stem cell transplantation leading the way to the targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are saving thousands of lives today. LLS is changing the landscape of cancer with more than 300 active research projects that explore different avenues of new and adventurous research; ones with promise and ones that will save lives not someday, but today.”
According to the Student Series website (www.studentseries.org) the Pennies for Patients program is for elementary and middle schools that would like to support LLS in its mission “to create a world without cancer by conducting a fundraising campaign. By participating in Pennies for Patients, teachers and administrators will have opportunities to incorporate a unique STEM curriculum into their classrooms that give students an insider’s look into LLS-funded research, and where their money gets invested.”
This past February, students at Foster Park Elementary School did their part to support LLS’ research and treatment efforts by participating in the Pennies for Patients fundraising campaign. A press release issued by FPES states that each morning the school shared an announcement focused on how the funds raised by the campaign are used to assist children with blood diseases.
The press release states that this year FPES raised $645 for Pennies for Patients. It sates that the fundraiser involved competitions to see which classroom from K-2nd grades and which classroom from 3rd-5th grades raised the most money. The classrooms that raised the most money were Mrs. Haley Holcombe’s 2nd grade class and Mrs. Sarah Gonzalez’s 4th grade class. Each class received a freeze pop party for their efforts.
As indeed they should, because achievement should always be celebrated, especially when it is in the service of such a noble cause. While those classes raised the most funds and are rightly congratulated, we should also congratulate their fellow students who also helped raise that $645. We should celebrate all of them and, indeed, we should celebrate all efforts on the part of our young and their schools to help achieve something positive, especially when that something positive involves saving countless lives, including countless children.
Cancer is a terrible scourge, but it is not unbeatable, provided the human race is willing to commit the resources to defeat it. Those resources include the Pennies for Patients raised by children like those at Foster Park Elementary School who are willing to do their part to help banish cancer to the ash heap of history. No, it will not happen overnight. But efforts like those of the students at FPES help bring more resources to bear against this scourge and hasten the arrival of that long hoped for day when cancer is no more.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.