The New Haven Elementary School and their student group of service leaders hosted a Dance-a-thon in the school cafeteria and gym from 1:30 to 2:30 on October 14th. Funds collected from students, parents, and other sponsors were donated to the American Cancer Society. The total amount collected for the society was $2,913.91.
Mrs. Eileen Roth, the elementary school counselor and head sponsor of the service leaders, describes their duties as “[working] to identify needs in our community and create projects to fulfill those needs. They do fundraisers and give their time and talent depending on the need."
The Service Leaders of NHES have been working on this project since the beginning of school. Two weeks prior to the Dance-a-thon, the service leaders sold paper cancer ribbons for $1 for students and teachers to buy in memory or honor of a loved one. These ribbons were colored and decorated around the school gym and cafeteria. Mrs. Roth commented, “The ribbons stood as a reminder that even if you were getting thirsty or tired -- it’s nothing in comparison to living with cancer.”
Another way the service leaders worked to raise money was through pledge donations from parents and family members. For however long a student stayed dancing, a certain amount of money was donated. Many students went above and beyond in donations, such as Will Laune, who brought in more than $600. Other students raising more than $100 each were Dakota Gruenke, Logan Maune, Maggie Parmentier, and brothers Landon and Drew Gildehaus.
The American Cancer Society is a non-profit organization based and founded in New York City in May 1913. Their focus is to “save lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and fighting back.” The society informs the public about cancer, provides support and guidance for those battling with the disease, and works to research for a cure. The money the NHES raised for the organization will go into an ACS mixing pot for research funds and hospital bills for those who cannot afford them alone.
The students raised so much money for the society that the ACS will be sponsoring a Relay for Life team in 2017 for NHES. Students will volunteer and service leaders will compete in events in June 2017. The ACS organization will come to congratulate and accept the donations of NHES sometime in November. (The date has not yet been set.)
Lydia Pataky and Riley Otten were invited to come dance with the kids at the Dance-a-thon. “It was insane. Some of them knew how to dance and were pretty good, but some were just flailing their arms and running around acting crazy. The kids were so fun and it was fun to dance with them and pump them up,” Lydia Pataky stated after the event.
Mrs. Roth commented after the Dance-a-thon, “As a result of this project all students learned what cancer is and how it affects families. Many students in our school have loved ones who are affected by cancer and could relate to the cause. It is hoped that students felt they made a difference and helped our community/world. The total funds raised and the interest the students showed in this event makes me very proud of our service leaders and school.”