Through the SF Walk-a-Thon and Buzz for Saint Jude, two fundraising events held on the Saint Francis High School campus, members of the school community ran, walked and even shaved their heads to raise more than $3,800 to help children beat cancer. All proceeds from those activities benefited Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In the weeks preceding the fundraising events, freshman Connor Witsoe worked hard to publicize the events. At a Saint Francis basketball game, he stood in front of the crowd in between periods and explained the role the hospital played in his family’s life during his brother’s battle with cancer.
Connor spearheaded the Buzz for Saint Jude head-shaving event, asking students to show their support for children who lose their hair as a result of treatments. Eleven Lancers stepped up to show their solidarity on the day of the event, including freshman Daniella Brancatelli, who had no regrets. Many others gave donations.
“This is a display of unity, and I thought I could inspire others to donate,” Brancatelli said. “When I made my decision, I had to think it through, but I knew this is what I wanted to do.”
The strength of the community was again evident two days later at the SF Walk-a-Thon, where 250 students, staff and parents walked or ran. The boys cross-country team and Women of BRIC, a campus club, were out in force, and several student groups provided refreshments for the participants.
“People may think that we’re high school students and not in a position of power, but when students donate to participate and give pledges, we can raise a lot of money for a cause,” said junior Eva Rian, a member of the Activities and Events Board, which organized the walkathon.
Connor was delighted at the show of support he saw at both events.
“In the first 10 minutes of the head-shaving event, we collected $100, and it felt really good,” he said. “During the walkathon, I looked around and saw the cross-country team and everyone else. This is what Saint Francis is all about – people coming together.”