Teacher Kim Michel and seventh-graders Kelly McKermott, Sophia Lupoli and Kylee Jedraszek sold candy canes in the foyer at St. Patrick School last week to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association in memory of Jedraszek's grandfather, who recently lost his battle with the illness. (COURTESY)
Pelham school fundraiser 'remembers those who forget'
This fall, when teacher Lynne Stader approached her students to see if they had any idea what charity they'd like to "adopt" for the holidays, many were moved by student Kylee Jedraszek's story.
"Let's help research a cure for this disease that affects too many," Jedraszek told her classmates, who agreed to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association over the past several months. Stader said she encourages her students to help others not only during the holiday but also throughout the entire school year.
"They're asked to give convincing closing arguments before the class votes," Stader said. "That's how we choose our charity each year. We focus our energies on what we can accomplish for others."
Student Jessica Newey offered another idea: selling chocolate-dipped candy canes.
Students brought in boxes and boxes of candy canes during December and held "dipping" events at the Jedraszek's home.
The class sold the candy canes after the school-wide Christmas assembly and during lunch periods.
According to organization spokesman Russ Martin, the charity has a matching challenge, meaning the funds raised by the St. Patrick Schools students will be worth more than $3,000 toward Alzheimer's research.
"It's scary knowing this could still affect members of my family," she said. "But it is comforting to know my grandfather is up in heaven smiling down on us for all our efforts."