Sports teams raise money for cancer research

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Jenny Lewis” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]

Winter sports teams sold paw prints to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Newton and Brookline

by Gloria Li

Violet paw prints stand side-by-side in the corridor between the athletic offices and the gymnasium, depicting this school’s efforts to battle cancer.

Students can purchase these paw prints, called Paws for Cancer Awareness decals, from student athletes for one dollar. The money goes to cancer research, and the purchasers gets their names displayed on the paw prints. The Paws Against Cancer fundraiser will continue until February vacation.

Senior Emily Paley organized the fundraiser. She is involved in the fine and performing arts department, but does not play sports. However, she decided to raise awareness for cancer by partnering with the winter sports teams to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Newton and Brookline.

According to Paley, she was “really excited about joining forces with the athletic department and the winter sports teams for this important cause.”

To get started on the fundraiser, Paley approached athletic director Tom Guisti with her idea, and “he immediately said that he would be happy to get the winter sports teams involved,” she said.

Giusti said he is thankful for the students at this school who “work together to create a culture that will give back to the community for a common cause such as the Paws Against Cancer campaign.”

Together, Guisti and Paley worked together to inform students about the fundraiser.

Graphics teacher Tom Donnellan jumped on board and agreed to print the paw prints, according to Paley.

Prior to starting this fundraiser, Paley was involved in raising money for the Relay For Life through her annual concert, A Capella for a Cure, which gives one hundred percent of its proceeds to the American Cancer Society. This year, the concert will take place Saturday, March 31 at the Newton Cultural Center.

According to administrative assistant Donna Benoit, “There was a great response to this event, and many athletes were spirited participants.”

At the boys’ and girls’ basketball game at home against Needham, Thursday, Jan. 20, the Tigers donned purple t-shirts, as opposed to the traditional black and orange, in honor of the fundraiser. Similarly, the Rockets sported “Rockets for Cancer” shirts.

According to senior Luke Westman, “The game was the first sold out game we had all year.” He said that people were turned away at the door.

Westman attributed the success to fact that “Emily did a wonderful job organizing the event.”

Paley addressed the crowd before the game, and then sang the national anthem to kick it off.

Benoit said, “It was amazing to see how these kids were so supportive of what was going on.”

Sophomore Brewster Taylor, a nordic skier, believed that “this fundraiser was an excellent idea and was for a worthy cause.”

Paley said, “As of now, we’ve raised around $800,” and she said she hopes to end up raising $1,000.

Almost everybody knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and “this is a great way to memorialize them,” Paley said.