High schoolers to walk for breast cancer awareness

By Madeline Otten, Correspondent

While October is known for the start of a new season, it is also recognized as breast cancer awareness month. Fluvanna County High School’s (FCHS) Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is scheduled to host its eighth annual Breast Cancer Walk on Oct. 25 around the track at Phil Browning Stadium. In the past, this event took place during lunches. This year’s walk will start at 3 p.m. and end around 3:40 p.m. in correlation to the activity schedule and in time for students to walk over to the bus ramp for dismissal.

The Breast Cancer Walk first originated from two former Flying Flucos and FBLA students, Jonnay Grooms and Shay Patterson. The idea sparked because one of Grooms’ favorite aunts is a breast cancer survivor.

“I started the FBLA Breast Cancer Walk because breast cancer awareness month is very near and dear to my heart. My aunt and some of my cousins have been diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Grooms. “They all fought it and are now survivors. Just seeing their hope, strength, and courage made me want to go out and bring awareness,” said Grooms.

Students were informed of ticket pricings, when to buy and what will happen during the event through the school’s announcement system, In The Know. Tickets were available for purchase the week of Oct. 15.

In the previous years, students who participated were asked to donate $1, which went toward the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation (VBCF) in Richmond. This year the ticket price went up to $2. Half of the money will go toward VBCF and the other half will go to Project ASK, the Virginia FBLA-Phi Beta Lambda State Service Project.

“Mrs. Harding and I learned about Project ASK at an advisor meeting earlier this month and felt that we needed our students to get involved,” said FCHS faculty member and FBLA advisor Christine Kreitzman. “Project ASK is an association of volunteers that supports children with cancer at Virginia Commonwealth University.”

ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit that consists of health professionals, parents, and citizens throughout Virginia. Through the support from FBLA-PBL, the organization can conduct diagnostic research, fund the position for a patient counselor, and serve as a support group for families of children with cancer.

During the event, students will have the opportunity to walk and socialize while helping a great cause. Other clubs and organizations will sell candy and culinary items. Flucos will also be given the opportunity to learn and speak with nursing students and the Future Health Professionals of America club about breast cancer as well as experience blood pressure monitoring.

“We chose walking because it is a healthy event that gives all of our students a chance to participate and get outside. We believe it also gives them a sense of community,” said Kreitzman. “This year is even more special because Jonnay is our new culinary teacher and now she can participate as a faculty member.”

Even though every year is different, each year has the same goal of exceeding the previous one. Within the past two years, the club has seen as many as 580 students attend this event and was pleased to see such a great turnout.

“This year we focused on raising more money for the foundations,” said FCHS student and FBLA public relations ambassador Emily Thomas. “We wanted to beat our goal and surpass the amount raised in the past.”

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