Northwest and Jefferson Schools end week of cancer fighting fundraising with Relay Recess

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[May 25, 2016]  LINCOLN - On Monday morning, Northwest and Jefferson School children gathered on the playground of Northwest for the final event following a week of raising funds that will be donated to the Logan County Relay for Life, held June 18th.

All of last week, the children were able to do special, out of the ordinary things, such as wearing items that would not normally be permitted for the donation of $1 per day. The days of the week were themed such as hat day, where everyone could wear their favorite cap or hat to school.

On Monday, after waiting for the children from Jefferson to walk to Northwest, the group assembled and the Jefferson/Northwest Principal Chris Allen addressed the kids about the fight against Cancer.

Mr. Allen thanked the kids from Jefferson for making the trek over to Northwest and reminded them that next year, no one will have to walk over because they will all already be here.

Allen introduced Ed Tibbits from Hope Grows Neighborhood Center, who invited the kids to come to Ray White Park on Wednesday afternoon for the Schools-Out Bash. He pointed out that there would be among many other activities a dunk tank, and that some of the Jefferson and Northwest teachers would be in the dunk tank. The children were excited about that aspect, and several began calling out the names of the teachers they wanted to dunk.


Allen returned to the microphone saying that they were assembled today for a very special reason, to celebrate those who have beat cancer and to honor those who have lost that battle.

He offered a big thank-you to Mrs. Tammy Dietrich, who each year organizes the event for the schools. This is the third year of holding Relay Recess at Northwest. He also thanked the survivors who were there to walk with the kids.

Allen reminded the kids that one in three people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer. He noted that meant that more than likely everyone there knew someone who has fought or is still fighting this disease, including members of the Northwest and Jefferson staff.

The theme on Monday was Butterflies. Allen said there would be a new station for the relay, the “Hope Takes Flight” butterfly station. Allen explained that at the station were drawings of butterflies and crayons. Each child would be permitted to color a butterfly in any way they wished. The butterflies will then go to the Logan County Relay for Life event where they will be displayed for everyone to see.

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Allen then called forward the survivors in attendance. There was four total, with three of them being school staff members. Each survivor was given a flower by Mrs. Dietrich. Dietrich then gave the kids a rundown of the various stations: Sun safety; Go, Slow, and No Foods; Fitness, Butterfly Stories, a rest stop with water and watermelon, and an anti-tobacco station located just inside the school. The plan was for the children to spend 10-minute intervals at each station, and in between stations complete laps around the playground.

The four survivors were the first to do a lap around the playground. As they neared completion of their lap, Mr. Allen led the children in giving applause and cheers for the four. The morning was then opened for kids to start taking their laps as well as visiting the various stations.

Before they began walking, Mrs. Dietrich said, “During the relay, you may get tired, but I want you to remember that cancer doesn’t sleep, cancer doesn’t rest.” Referring to the various themes of the past week she concluded, “We’re working hard to help fight Cancer, we’re going to leave it in the sand, we’re going to put a cap on it, we’re going to stamp it out. All the things we have done this week making it part of history. You are going to work hard here today, remembering that our four survivors here, and all the other survivors you know, have worked really hard and had a hard time with cancer.”

With that, the relay began. Children were divided into groups, and some went to the various stations while others began making their laps.

[Nila Smith]


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