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RES raises money for childhood cancer
E-Childhood Cancer Fundraiser pic1
Second grade students give their best superhero pose during Robinson Elementarys fundraising efforts for CURE Childhood Cancer. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

Last Thursday at Robinson Elementary School, a visitor might have mistaken the school for a secret hideout of superheroes.

The students and teachers of RES spent the last two weeks raising awareness and money for CURE Childhood Cancer and Sept. 29 was superhero day.

September was childhood cancer awareness month.

"The kids are really excited," said Principal Kim Bennett in her Wonder Woman costume. "In kindergarten there's tons of kids dressed up. One little girl didn't have a superhero shirt and she said ‘Look Miss Kim, I got my markers'...and she made one. It was precious."

It is the first year of what Bennett and special education teacher Kristy Moore say will be an annual event. Their goal was to raise $1,000.

"My inspiration is because of Chayton Williamson and Kenny Stewart who were students here at Robinson," Moore said. "They both had cancer. I actually taught both of them.

"Chayton is now in 8th grade. Kenny passed away in 2013," she said. "It's dear to my heart."

When both Williamson and Stewart were unable to come to school because of their treatment, Moore would go to their homes three times a week.

Williamson is now cancer-free and one of the faces of the organization.

According to CURE's web site, the causes of most childhood cancers are unknown and cannot be prevented. The incidence of childhood cancer is on the rise with a 24 percent increase over the last 40 years.

"I subscribed to their newsletters when I was teaching Chayton," she said. "This year I said we should try to raise money."

Moore said the organization focuses solely on raising money for childhood cancer.

"One out of four elementary schools will have a child with cancer," Moore said.

The first week, RES started with their own "coins for a cure."

"We kicked off last week with coins for a cure. Each classroom is competing. At the end we will tally and that class will get an ice cream sundae party," Bennett said.

"This week we upped it a level and got the kids involved because kids love to dress up. We have worn caps and boots and today was our big day-superhero."

On Monday, Moore said that the elementary students had raised a total of $1,586.12 in coins for the organization, easily surpassing their goal.

Laura Ledbetter's second grade class brought in $250.40 and earned the party.

Throughout the process, the staff made sure that students in the school were aware of the ‘why' behind the effort.

The second week of the event included opportunities for students to dress up every day.

Monday was wear your sunglasses because we are too cool for cancer. Tuesday was caps for a cure. Wednesday was a chance for kids to wear their boots to give cancer the boot. Thursday was smash out cancer by dressing as your favorite superhero and Friday was a gold out.

Gold is the color to raise awareness for childhood cancer.

The school's news team gathered information and shared it every morning with all of the students.

"As long as they know what we are doing it for. Every morning on the morning announcements they have done something to promote it. This morning there was a video about Kenny and Chayton," Moore said.

"We will do it every year now," Bennett said.