Making Strides against Breast Cancer challenge
Bel-Aire Elementary School in Gulfport took home first place this year in the Making Strides against Breast Cancer School challenge. Today, they held a pink-out pep rally to celebrate their win.
“Thank you for caring. Thank you for being compassionate.” Nineteen years after being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, Ida West, the assistant principal at Bel-Aire Elementary School, had the chance to thank her students for helping a cause so close to her heart. “These are qualities they need throughout their lives. These are qualities that make good citizens, positive individuals, that make a difference in our world.”
For the second year in a row, Bel-Aire Elementary has taken the winning trophy for raising the most money for the ‘Making Strides against Breast Cancer school challenge.’ School Challenge Leader Kathy Stringer said, “We started out by just talking about the importance of helping such a horrible disease and we just mainly made the students understand that it’s very prevalent out there.”
The staff put together activities with incentives for the children to encourage the kids to get involved. “Each teacher was given a snowman, an Olaf, we put it out, and the students would buy cotton balls for a quarter each and glue it to the teachers snowman that they wanted to see get a pie in the face.”
The children had fun raising the money and they learned the importance of giving back. “I think it’s very important that we raise money because people are dying from this and I feel like we are making a cause.”
Bel-Aire Elementary raised a total of $2,250 for the American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society Community Development Manager Liz Gaulke said, “Not only did they win as the best elementary school that participated, but also they were the overall winner of all schools.”
The money raised through this challenge will go toward breast cancer research, education, and prevention.