WHS donates money, supplies to St. Elizabeth cancer center

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By Bryan Marshall

Williamstown Independent Schools recently proved that spare pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters add up.


The Williamstown High School Key Club, a teen service organization through Williamstown Kiwanis, organized the “Coin Battle for Comfort” from April 26-30 in order to raise funds for the St. Elizabeth Grant County Cancer Services Center.

 “Our group was looking for a service project that would directly affect the citizens right here in our community,” said Sonya Linder, Key Club advisor. “All of us know a friend, family member or neighbor who is affected by the burdens of cancer. We have also had several staff members here at Williamstown who have or are battling cancer. Raising money for this cause meant that we could directly benefit people we know and love. It became very personal for us.”

In the end, the students ended up raising more than $2,700 for the cause.

“It was amazing,” said WHS freshman Alec Dalton, Key Club treasurer. “I personally didn’t expect us to raise as much as we did. It really helped a lot. We were able to get everything that they needed.”

The total came as a surprise considering only $800 was collected by the second to last day of the fundraiser.

Linder said the goal then became to hit the $1,000 mark by the end of the week.

That all changed with one phone call.

“When Forcht Bank called to give us the totals after Friday afternoon, I was brought to tears,” Linder said. “Our kids and families here at Williamstown show amazing generosity again and again.”

While the Key Club did hand over a check for more than $1,000 to the cancer center, they also decided to spend the remainder of the money on items they felt patients could use during treatments.

The club purchased two laptop computers, two CD players, 41 pairs of ear buds, 27 CDs, 74 DVDs, 21 journals, puzzle books, snacks and candy, among other items.

“This is absolutely incredible that you guys did this,” Joanie Asbury, a nurse at the oncology center, said to the students when receiving the donations. “Our patients are so deserving and so appreciative of anything and everything that anyone gives them. You all deserve a big, big round of applause for all the work you’ve done.”

The Williamstown Kiwanis sponsored a reward for the primary class, intermediate class, middle school and high school grade that raised the most money.

An ice cream buffet and an afternoon of games were provided May 17 to the sixth and ninth grade classes since they raised the most money. A separate celebration was held for Mrs. Jones’ first-grade class and Mrs. Watts fifth-grade class.

“We’re just so proud of you all,” Greg Middleton, Kiwanis president, said to the students. “It’s a very worthwhile cause. Our mission as Kiwanians is to help the community, and that’s what the Key Club is all about.”