UNION, NJ – Washington Elementary School’s first Youth in Philanthropy program of the year took place outside on Friday afternoon.

“We are here because we want to send a message,” said Washington School Principal Thomas Matthews.  “The message is that children and adults from all over the world can come together to beat this horrible disease – cancer.”

The “Whip Pediatric Cancer” campaign began two years ago to help raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. 

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Washington School is also supporting “The Champ’s Corner”, the Alexander Munoz Memorial Fund.  The organization is named for a young man, who was nicknamed the “Champ”.  He was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a grade four malignant brain tumor, when he was 15 years old.  Munoz lost his battle only 19 months later.  His final wish was to help teens in hospitals who are fighting cancer.

Matthews said in honor of all children who lost their battle with cancer and those who are still valiantly fighting, teachers and students released balloons on the playground, showing Washington School’s support in fighting against this disease.

“’Whip Pediatric Cancer’ was started by a child,” Matthews told the students, “and everyone thought it was a great idea that a child said ‘why can’t we do more to help find a cure for cancer’.”