The Johnsburg Central School senior class poses with breast cancer survivor Sandy Ordway (front row, third from left), a food service worker at the school. The class raised money for breast cancer awareness this past year.
Lead by example. That’s exactly what the Johnsburg Central School (JCS) senior class decided to do when they volunteered their time and efforts for someone else.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and during October 2011, JCS Varsity Field Hockey Coach Jill Toney purchased the hockey team pink T-shirts. Pink is the official breast cancer color. Coach Toney asked each team member to put their official number on their T-shirts and wear them at their next game.
Before the team left for their game, they went to see Sandy Ordway, a food service employee at Johnsburg Central and a diagnosed breast cancer patient. They told her, “We are wearing pink for you, and we are dedicating this game to you.”
At that time, Ordway had been diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She had already undergone surgery to remove the mass, received radiation, and was suffering through difficult chemotherapy treatments. She was very touched by the support being shown to her by the team and their coach.
The following week, two senior varsity field hockey players, Rachael Dunkley and Ashlee Hitchcock, went to see Debbie Loomis, co-advisor for the JCS Senior Class about possibly holding a fundraiser for all breast cancer patients. Superintendent Mike Markwica agreed, and Loomis contacted the Queensbury Branch of the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The ACS was helpful and generous in working out a plan for selling “Pink HOPE” bracelets.
“The rest of the senior class was very receptive to the fundraiser idea and dedicating a day to Sandy,” Loomis said. “We sold the bracelets one Friday before school. The students and staff of Johnsburg were also asked to wear pink this particular day to show their support for Mrs. Ordway. Everyone was so considerate, supportive, and caring.”
The seniors raised $372 for the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” campaign through the American Cancer Society.
At the writing of this article, Ordway is a Breast Cancer survivor. The ACS generously donated a Survivor Basket, and the senior class presented it to her.
“I am especially proud of these students for thinking about others with their fundraising efforts,” Loomis said. “Through their families, communities, and school, special young adults have been raised.”