Thirty-six kids are given a new cancer diagnosis each day. With that in mind, it is a little less surprising that three children in the same neighborhood should be diagnosed within less than ten years. What is, perhaps, more amazing is the response of their community. Cole Carter, Elena Tate, and Abby Boone were each diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Cole in 2005, Elena in 2007, and Abby in 2010, and they all swim on the community swim team – the Morningview Manta Rays.
The success of the event led the team to make the fundraiser an annual event. This year, the team members, ages 3 to18, began fundraising June 10, selling T-shirts and rubber-ducky raffle tickets. On the day of the Orange Out the activities multiplied: the team gave orange manicures for donations and brought in crafts and baked goods to sell. The funds raised this year will go to CURE Childhood Cancer, an organization that contributes to cancer research and therapy as well as crisis support for families of patients.
Kim Boone, Abby’s mother, organized the event last year and was also a coordinator for this year’s event.
“For everybody to come out and support the three children in our neighborhood like they have, by supporting us and our crazy ideas and our ducks and our orange T-shirts and just everything, is just… we live in a wonderful place,” Kim Boone said.
This year Melanie Creviston, who has a background in fundraising and worked with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, joined Boone in coordinating the event. Creviston said she first heard about the event after moving to the community and she immediately wanted to be involved. Her own family has been touched by childhood cancer – her cousin lost a daughter to the disease.
“It’s a great way for the kids and the families to do something beyond – bigger than swim team… this is a way for us to give back,” Creviston said.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.curechildhoodcancer.org. Visit the Morning View Manta Rays Swim Team on Facebook.
By: Shea Nolan