Updated 03/15/2013 06:08 PM
Overwhelming support, goal achieved to help students with cancer
A Chemung County community truly understands the meaning of helping others. That's the realization after a few small fundraising events were planned for two elementary students who are fighting cancer. As YNN's Katie Husband tells us, as the word spread quickly, so did the number of helping hands.
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- 'Hilby' is entertaining these Elmira City students after their hard work of raising money for their classmates.
"We started out in Service Learning ready to do a project for an elementary school to somehow help the community or the kids at that school, so we chose Beecher," said Matt Watkins, Notre Dame High School senior.
That school is working with Fassett Elementary to help raise money for two students there. Tristin Malone and Jacob Davila are both fighting rare forms of cancer. The Notre Dame High School students knew it was the right fundraising effort to get involved with.
"Really has given a bright spot for everybody involved, especially in a time in education where there's a lot of accountability and there's a lot of stress that goes with that and all year the things that have happened throughout the year have really been things that we've all clung to to kind of get through a very tough time. It's been a real positive," said Mike Lanning, Beecher Elementary, principal.
After Hilby's entertainment, the group of high schoolers presented a check for $1,000 to the Tristin and Jacob fund. The donation from Service Learning put the schools over its $10,000 goal.
"Everybody cares so much, we're thankful, we're grateful and very blessed to have everybody in the community, in his school, friends, family all come together for him," said Nina Malone, Tristin's mother.
Educators are overwhelmed for reaching the '10k' mark before the May 1st deadline.
"It started out with some small ideas and grew into a whole bunch of people working as a community and doing what we want to model for kids which is, caring for other people, following the golden rule which is our school rule," said Lanning.
The students in the Service Learning class at Notre Dame High School knew they were going to take on a big responsibility, but when they heard Tristin and Jacob's story, they were inspired.
"And it just seemed the best since two kids have cancer, it seemed best to try to see if we could help those kids the most but at the same time still help the rest of the kids get Hilby and let them have a fun day out of school," said Watkins.
From one school to another, the act of giving can have such a large impact on a small community.
Officials from both Beecher and Fassett elementary schools will sit down with the Malone and Davila families and split the money evenly, which will be used for their specific needs.