Crestview students raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research
By LeAnna Stephenson
Crestview Elementary students took part in the 2016-17 Student Series put on each year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to raise much-needed funds for research and advocacy. The participants raised $1,400 in just two weeks, with half coming from just two fifth graders, Belle Johnson and Alyssa Yount.
“The National Elementary Honor Society initiated this program. It is held each year, but this is the most ever raised,” said Courtney Tucker, a teacher at Crestview Elementary.
For Belle Johnson and Alyssa Yount, the fundraiser wasn’t just a way to win prizes or compete with other students, as both girls have a family history of cancer and have lost loved ones to the disease.
“My Pop died of leukemia…cancer…not too long ago, a few months,” said Alyssa, as tears sprang to her eyes.
The premature loss of her beloved grandfather was Alyssa’s motivation to raise as much money as possible for LLS and with the help of her parents and their friends on social media, she reached a fundraising total of $400.
Belle Johnson was also moved to help LLS because of what cancer has taken from her family.
“There is a lot of people in my family who passed away from cancer,” Belle shared.
Belle’s story is special, because unlike the other children who raised funds to donate, Belle gave her own money to LLS. A dedicated barrel racer and pole bender, Belle has been collecting winnings from rodeos and putting them into her savings account. When she learned of the LLS program at school, Belle told her mom she wanted to donate her savings of $300 to help others.
The mission of LLS is to cure blood cancers and improve the lives of patients and their families. Since 1993, students and educators throughout the United States and Canada have raised more than $315 million for LLS. Donations are spent on patient and community services, research, public health and professional education. For more information, visit www.lls.org.