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MINI RELAY: Coesse students' field day turns fundraiser

May 30, 2012

Photo contributed Students, staff and teachers from Coesse Elementary School pose on the field during their mini relay Tuesday. This year, the students raised $1,762.64 for Relay for Life.

COLUMBIA CITY ­­ ­— What began as a normal playground at Coesse Elementary School, turned into a battle field to fight cancer Tuesday.
Coesse students held their annual mini Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society and Whitley County’s Relay for Life.
“We used to have a regular field day, but then we decided to do something more than just that. We started having a mini relay for the American Cancer Society,” said Margaret Taylor, a second grade teacher.
Teachers, staff, parents and volunteers were on hand yesterday as the students participated in many different activities geared to celebrate life and fight for a cure.
Josh Hecht and Conner Sparks are fourth graders at Coesse.
They both worked to raise money for the relay and were excited about the day’s festivities.
“There is a bounce house that we race through. Its fun. I sold dum-dums and bookmarks to help raise money,” said Hecht.
“The more money we raised, the more duct tape we got to tape up our principal. We got tape to tape her arms and legs,” Sparks said.
The day might be a fun time spent outside the classroom, but the reason for the relay wasn’t lost on these elementary students.
“We sold cancer signs and raised about $15. Natalie made them and then we sold them,”said Alyssa Swangin about Natalie Reyes and their friends’ efforts for the relay.
“I like doing it because it helps raise money for cancer,” Showlyn Patee, another relay participant, said.
One student partnered with her mom, who is in the middle of battling cancer. Together they worked to raise $25.
“Mom ordered things online and I sold them. I sold necklaces, buttons and pencils that said, ‘pink is not just a pretty color.’ My mom has cancer so I wanted to do this to help find a cure,” said Samantha Barcus.
Barcus’ mother, Carrie, was there to walk the survivors lap. This was a lap reserved for those surviving cancer.
Also in the crowd was Relay for Life committee person, Tammi Pence. She has been involved with the relay for 10 years.
“It was awesome to come out and see these kids doing this. My friend, Brandi Duncan, invited me to come out and I am so glad she did. This was really neat,” Pence said.

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