Since its inception, the local event has raised approximately $ 325,000
As Immanuel Lutheran’s third through sixth grade students followed after her, Jennifer Ingram walked the first lap of the school’s track.
Ingram, the mother of former Lutheran student Immanuel Alec, walked in honor of her son. He died of bone cancer on November 7, 2019 at the age of 14.
The school’s in-person Relay for Life event paid tribute to his memory, along with that of former Washington School District student Jordan Scheer and the countless others who lost their lives to cancer. At the same time, students raised money to find a cure for the disease.
Immanuel Lutheran was one of nine parochial and public elementary schools in Washington and New Haven that participated in the Jordan Scheer Children’s Relay for Life event on April 23. The event was coordinated by the Washington High School student council and leadership class with contributions from the St. Francis Borgia Regional High School student council.
Together, the schools raised between $ 11,000 and $ 12,000 to find a cure for cancer, said Allison Graves, Washington High School leadership class teacher, social studies teacher and student council co-sponsor. Some checks are still coming in this week, she said.
“It just gives people hope,” said Sarah Delleart, a teacher at Immanuel Lutheran and the co-coordinator of the school events.
“It can be a very hopeless feeling to see someone suffer in battle,” she said. “We just always want to pass it on to our kids that there are always people who care, that we are part of a community, that you are never alone.”
The 15th Children’s Relay for Life was held virtually, with the exception of Immanuel Lutheran’s additional celebrations, Delleart said.
In conjunction with the live Zoom presentations of the day, members of the Borgia and Washington High School Student Council led pre-recorded instructional videos. They practiced yoga, made slime, whipped up s’mores with PEEPS marshmallows, and challenged the elementary students to spread kindness through simple words or actions.
Immanuel Lutheran raised $ 2,226.44 through a dodgeball tournament, chapel offers, Valentine’s flower and candy sales, luminary bag sales, and pinwheel sales. On April 23, students walked the track, ate snacks, and played games such as Jenga or Kerplunk in keeping with the day’s theme “Knocking Cancer Off the Board”.
As last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19, this year’s event became even more important, Delleart said. “It really just develops a sensitivity to these things happening; cancer makes no distinction at all by age or gender. “
Delleart is Scheer’s oldest sister, after whom the event is named. He died in September 2005 after battling leukemia in high school.
“It’s just really important to my mom and dad that his name lives on and that this legacy lasts as long as possible,” she said.
Relay For Life raises more than $ 400 million every year. It’s held in 20 countries, and the money will go to the American Cancer Society, according to the Relay for Life webpage.
The event has been held annually in Franklin County since 2006, with the exception of last year, Delleart said. Since inception, the local event has raised about $ 325,000, Graves said.
One of the last videos of the day contained riddles that the elementary students had to decipher. Three student councilors from Washington High School asked the question, “I can fill a room, but I don’t take up any space. What am I?”
There was a pause so that the students could formulate their answers.