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St. John “Fights Back” Against Cancer

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Cancer survivor Jackie Hall walks with her grand-daughter JK student Bryn Hobson during the school's 5th annual Relay for Life.

May 30, 2013 - Despite the rain that poured down on May 10th, the students and staff of St. John Catholic Elementary School remained committed to their walk for their 5th annual relay for life with just one tweak – instead of walking outside, they decided to walk inside the school’s gym. Event organizer and teacher Irene Raymond didn’t miss a beat when the weather decided to be uncooperative and quickly made arrangements for each of the classes to rotate their walks in the school gym.

The day’s event was kicked off with a presentation of a banner from the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cathy Burns who wanted to publically acknowledge the school’s outstanding efforts in supporting their organization. Raymond received the banner on the school’s behalf and spoke to the students before the relay began. “Every single person in this room has been or will be affected by cancer,” Raymond explained. “Today we are honoured to have a group of survivors who will be joining us on our walk and we celebrate their strength and courage to fight back!” The students echoed Raymond’s message “Fight back” and it was the phrase that was shouted throughout the event. The students walked with the survivors as well as family and community members.

The school was visited by the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division) – Martin Kabat a few weeks earlier to kick of the school’s fundraising efforts for their event and he encouraged the students to continue in their support for such an important cause. As well, he thanked them for their fundraising efforts from previous years as they have contributed well over $15,000 to the Sudbury branch.

This year’s efforts have surpassed all other years for the school as the grand total to date is well over $7200 with more pledge money still coming in. According to Raymond, the students really outdid themselves this year and were completely focused on raising the most amount of money they have ever raised with one student raising close to $1000 all on her own. “I am so proud and thankful that the students, staff and parent community of St. John Catholic Elementary School are such giving and generous group,” Raymond stated. “We have shown once again that we care about each other and that we are committed to continuing to fight back againstt cancer.”

The event finished with the entire group gathering in the school’s gymnasium for the annual luminary ceremony.

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