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Kennedy Elementary strives for win with Schools versus Cancer

The Kennedy Elementary students, kindergarten through fifth grade, ended their school year with a record-breaking celebration, followed by an indoor field day.

The celebration was that the students have raised $8,369.79 during their annual Schools versus Cancer challenge. “What I think of is how many changes in people’s lives there have been since last May,” said Principal Kelly Hansen. “I take pride in what we do every year. For six years the Schools vs. Cancer outcome has been positive. This year, the seventh, shattered previous expectations. Great things happen here.”

Instructor Megan Deal reminded the kids of the four anticancer things they have learned this year — sun protection, anti-smoking, eating healthy, and being active. Deal thanked the many sponsors who helped with the celebration, providing t-shirts for the top fundraising classes, water bottles and bracelets for all the kids, lots of water, tunes for during the field day, and even some Trappers baseball team members attending today.

Mary Schumacher, a former teacher’s aide and a mother of current Kennedy students, was among approximately 20 cancer survivors in attendance. Schumacher told of her 26-and-counting chemo therapies, each costing more than a really nice new car. “With your help, I’m doing okay. Your help lets me put my cancer to sleep,” Schumacher said. She used the analogy of fighting cancer being a big game in a huge stadium, with everyone rooting for her against the big ugly opponents (cancer), “and the game has no referees. I don’t know what I am doing, but I know that I have to win,” Schumacher said.

Kellie Yackley, director Avera St. Mary’s Foundation, told the Kennedy Elementary students, “You kids are raising money to help cancer go away. You are awesome. You are helping people, one penny and one dollar at a time.”

Individual classes and individual students were recognized for going above and beyond in their fundraising efforts. These varied from running lemonade stands, emptying piggy banks, doing extra chores, making and selling crafts, and other things.

Tanya Krietlow, community development manager for the American Cancer Society, accepted the check.

The students then began their much anticipated and much deserved field day, which consisted of many different fun stations.