Tuesday May 15, 2012, Morgan Elementary held the third annual American Cancer Society Relay Recess. This year’s Relay Recess was a huge success, raising over $2,800 to go toward research for a cure. This fund raising and educational event reached every classroom and many of the families in our community. Relay Recess gives students a sense of pride that they can accomplish something worthwhile by looking beyond themselves.
The students worked hard to raise money for weeks with various tactics. Tanner Nelson, a second grader, gathered toys, books, balls, cookies, and bows to earn money for the cause. Nelson spent about five hours sitting outside his house over the course of several days and was able to add $24 to the fundraising effort. He said it made him happy to be able to do it. Many of the students had similar stories of working to earn money from a handful of change to double digit dollars. Students were also able to purchase footprints for $1 to honor those who have or have had cancer.
The last four Fridays, students were encouraged to wear purple, the signature color of Relay for Life and the fight against cancer. All different shades of purple from lilac to violet could be seen in classrooms throughout the school on “Fight Cancer Fridays!” Purple shirts, shorts, socks, ribbons and other apparel could be seen around the track the day of the event.
Relay for Life and Relay Recess helps participants to celebrate survivorship. Morgan Elementary has a number of students and faculty who are cancer survivors and are thriving. The school has also been impacted by students and faculty losing the fight against cancer. Relay Recess helps students remember loved ones lost to cancer and helps bring healing. Cason Campbell became treasured throughout the community through his spirit and determination with cancer. While he isn’t here anymore, his mark is inerasably left in hearts of those who rallied around him in his battle. Cason would be in the third grade now and his grade has the tradition each year to release green balloons, his favorite color.
After the assembly, students headed to the High school track and took mini classes. Being taught the importance of sun safety they lathered on sun screen before heading out for the hour long walk. Families came to support their students, the school and the cause and many even pushed younger siblings in strollers. Each grade had 20 minutes on the field to play games planned by volunteers. This gave the students a chance to run around and have fun together.
The mini classes included Morgan’s Swift Water rescue team who allowed the students into an ambulance and taught the children about safety. Classes on nutrition and prevention were taught by the school nurse, Nadine Bambrough. Students couldn’t stop talking about the Zumba class taught by RaQuel Dayton. They loved to do the moves and giggle at each other trying. RaQuel happily joined in the efforts of Relay Recess, “We are teaching they can have fun while working out.” Being fit is an important part of staying healthy. RaQuel is holding a Zumbatomic camp this summer at her studio on Commercial Street.
At 3 p.m. all of the students met on the school lawn with balloons in hand. Every grade held purple balloons except for the third grade held their green balloons for Cason. The students sent nearly 700 balloons into the Morgan sky. Some children chased after them with delight, while others looked on in awe.
Tara Hammer coordinated the amazing event and wanted to thank all of the parent volunteers that came to help with games and teaching classes. For more relay info visit www.relayforlife.org/morganut.