by Joni Astrup
Elk River High School’s DECA chapter is spearheading a cancer awareness project next week.
There will be “Tackle Cancer” events at the school throughout the week, culminating in a presentation at Friday’s football game.
“We just really want to make everyone more aware of cancer and how it does affect everyone. Everyone pretty much has been touched by cancer, whether it be personally or through a family member or friend,” said Lauren Rishovd, a senior DECA student involved in the project. Her grandmother had cancer.
The students will personalize this year’s Tackle Cancer event with a theme of “What’s YOUR Story? #NOWTELLIT.” People will have an opportunity to share their journeys with cancer, whether they have personally had cancer or are associated with someone who has.
Rishovd said they surveyed Elk River High School and found that the school, staff included, has been most affected by thyroid cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, brain cancer and breast cancer.
With that information in hand, they ordered T-shirts in four colors: blue, orange, black/white and pink to represent the cancers most prevalent in Elk River High School.
Next week, Oct. 9-13, each day of the week will signify one of the prevalent cancers.
•Monday: Everyone wears the color blue to support thyroid cancer.
•Tuesday: Everyone wears the color orange to support leukemia. That afternoon, DECA representatives will be on 106.1 BOB FM to explain the project.
•Wednesday: Everyone wears the colors black/white/gray to support lung and brain cancer. Additionally, students and staff will be able to write on Post-it notes how they have been affected by cancer. The Post-it notes will be stuck to a large sheet of paper, which will be displayed in the school for the remainder of the week and at the football game on Friday night.
•Thursday: Everyone wears the color pink to support breast cancer. Guest speaker Sunday Burquest, who was also a participant in the TV show “Survivor,” will speak about her battle with breast cancer.
•Friday: Everyone wears the color of their choice to support all cancers. There will be a photo station available during lunch periods to capture photos of people who are spreading cancer awareness. With consent, these photos will be used on Tackle Cancer social media platforms: Instagram (@ertacklecancer) and Facebook (ER Tackle Cancer).
During the football game at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, DECA will offer face painting before and during the game, sell Tackle Cancer merchandise and accept donations. All proceeds will go to the Randy Shaver Tackle Cancer Foundation.
During half time, DECA representatives will speak briefly about the project. At the same time, the “Miracle Minute” will be going on, when buckets are passed around the stands for one minute in hopes of people donating during that time.