Callaway Middle School Holds Go For Gold Fundraiser for Childhood Cancer Research
The Rally Foundation states that childhood cancer is the number one disease killer in America for children under the age of 15. Many people may not be aware of how many children are affected by cancer in our area. With September being Childhood Cancer Awareness month, there are various events taking place this month to help raise awareness and funds to help put an end to childhood cancer.
Callaway Middle School recently held the second annual Go Gold fundraiser for childhood cancer research. Stephanie Winn-Chappell, one of the assistant principals at the school stated, “We have had several kids in our area and in our school who have been affected by cancer”. “We have had students succumb to cancer, and students in our building who are cancer survivors; so we decided that as a school we should do something to help, and to celebrate the life of these students”.
Coach, Heather Smith is the Go Gold coordinator for Callaway Middle School. Smith also teaches heath and PE at the school. She said she has had students who have been affected by childhood cancer and feels fortunate to be involved in this event. Smith said, “We want to do whatever we can to help people not have to fight this alone”. Wearing the traditional symbolic football “eye-black” paint in Gold; Smith referred to the childhood cancer slogan “Fight like a Kid”. She shared the significance of the football games for this event over the past two years, and that some of the players on both teams have been touched by childhood cancer. The students had the opportunity last week to participate in various activities to raise awareness. At half-time of the 8th grade game, the names of the students who have fought the battle of childhood cancer and those who are still fighting are called out.
Proceeds from the Go Gold events are donated to the Rally Foundation. Stephanie Winn-Chappell said the school has been donating to the Foundation for years but they decided to do a full fundraiser last year. Funds are raised at the foot ball game for admissions, refreshments, and raffles. Kona Ice donated all the proceeds from sales during the event. Local businesses and individuals have also made donations in the form of raffle items as well as monetary. The school will receive monetary donations until the end of September.
Melissa Shirey says the Rally Foundation is very near and dear to her heart. She helps with the Go Gold Fundraiser. Shirey lost her daughter in 2017. Her daughter lived for 18 months after being diagnosed with brain cancer at the beginning of her 6th grade year at Callaway Middle School. Melissa shared a bit of her sorrow. She said it’s been heartache, shock, and disbelief. She said her daughter was determined to make it to her 13th birthday which was a goal Alyssa Shirey reached. Alyssa passed away one week after her birthday. Alyssa left behind a brother just 20 months younger who still misses her and copes with the pain of her loss. Melissa smiled remembering her daughter’s beautiful positive character. She shared a memory of her daughter encouraging the nurses that cared for her even while she was in her final days. She told them, God Loves You!
Callaway High School will host a Go Gold Volleyball Game later this month.
The author of this article can be reached via email at info@troupcountynews. net.
Tammy Greathouse Staff Writer