n Group reaches out to students, community for drive to raise funds for Randy Shaver’s Cancer Research and Commmunity Fund
by Jim Boyle
Elk River High School took steps last week to fight cancer by looking at the many faces of the deadly disease.
DECA students led the drive that raised more than $2,800 and pulled not only students, their families and school staff together for conversations about cancers that have affected them personally but also brought the community into the fold at the Sept. 20 varsity football game.
The drive culminated at halftime of the Elks game against Andover with a pink-laced Miracle Minute that raised nearly $1,500 alone.
Members of the high school marketing club, wearing pink T-shirts with the Randy Shaver’s Tackle Cancer slogan printed on them, ran up and down the stands asking fans to fill buckets with coins and bills. Clay Elrod, one of the DECA-student organizers, stayed on the field to explain the weeklong drive and encouraged fans in the stands to give. One cancer survivor was so moved by the effort to drop a $100 bill into a bucket.
DECA student Elisa Goodsell, who lost her mother to brain cancer in the summer of 2012, said one of the goals of the drive was to let people know how cancer affects everyone.
During the week, DECA used a pinwheel to give away donated prizes in exchange for donations. They also sold T-shirts, put out a donation box and painted pink ribbons on people’s faces for money. On Sept. 17, DECA sold strips of duct tape to students for $1 to tape Elrod and another student, Mac Berglove, to a pillar in the lunch room.
The money raised will be donated to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.
DECA students also made sure their drive was not just about one particular cancer. They broke the week up into five segments, each with its own color and its own cancer to raise awareness about.
Elk River High School took on an orange hue Monday in support of Leukemia awareness.
On Tuesday, orange turned to green in an effort to support Lymphoma Cancer awareness.
By Wednesday, green faded into grey to create awareness for brain cancer.
Students, staff and administrators donned blue on Thursday blue to create awareness for colon cancer.
And the whole school finished off the school week in pink for breast cancer, carrying it through Friday’s football game.
“We realize that we are not even close to scratching the surface of the numerous cancers, but we believe we are making a strong start,” said Clay Elrod, who nearly lost a cousin to cancer.
Brianna Forrest, Goodsell, Elrod and Morgan Mogler, were the four main coordinators of the DECA project, are all seniors but they hope to pass off the fundraiser to next year’s class.