UNION, NJ – Almost 16,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer each year.  The Whip Pediatric Cancer’s “Heart of Gold” Campaign was started over a year ago to help raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Last week at Washington Elementary School, students observed Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by joining the “Heart of Gold” Campaign. 

The event, organized by school counselor Kim Marano and secretary Laura Finnerty with the assistance of AAP teachers Mrs. Dimakos and Ms. Mason, was the school’s first “Youth in Philanthropy” cause for the 2016 – 2017 school year.  The school participated in the event from Thursday, September 22 to Thursday, September 29.

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Students received gold paper hearts to decorate which were then displayed on the walls of the school's auditorium. Students and staff were asked to donate for the cause and together they met their goal and raised $1,000.  

Seven hundred and fifty dollars will be donated to the Whip Pediatric Cancer Campaign for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (pediatric division).  The other $250 will be donated to the Team Campbell Foundation, named for Campbell Grace Hoyt who passed away two years ago at the age of 8, after a five-year battle with Ependymoma. Campbell is the niece of Mark Hoyt, current principal at Battle Hill Elementary School.

The “Heart of Gold” campaign was concluded last week with an assembly celebrating the school’s participation in making a difference.  Staff and students gathered outside to release blue and gold balloons in honor of the cause.  Gold is the color for pediatric cancer awareness month and blue represents the school. 

Before releasing the balloons, Washington School Principal Thomas Matthews spoke to students about the importance of being charitable and helping those in need.  He also restated the cause of the campaign to the students and stated how proud he is of them for taking part.  Students cheered and danced as the balloons were released and the “Whip and Nae Nae” song played on the loud speakers.

The objective of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and most importantly, to help raise funds for research and family support.

To learn more about the Whip Pediatric Cancer Campaign, please visit http://whippediatriccancer.org/

To learn more about Team Campbell Foundation please visit http://www.teamcampbellfoundation.org/