Students at Oregon High School raised more than $12,000 for the American Cancer Society Dec. 5 at the school's first annual Relay for Life.
A highlight of the day-long event was a Luminaria Ceremony that remembered and honored 129 individuals.
“The Luminaria Ceremony was a meaningful and thoughtful event that honored those impacted by cancer,” said freshman Samantha Miller.
In addition to walking a 6-hour marathon, students took part in a variety of service projects, including making hundreds of cards for the nursing home and servicemen overseas, 105 fleece scarves for Village of Progress and the local clothes closet, 56 holiday care packages and more than 1,000 cookies for the troops.
Fifty holiday wreaths were created for Oregon Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, and students worked on raising more than 100 pounds of rice on freerice.com.
"The positive attitude and energy of the students was unparalleled as they learned about the importance of service and the meaning behind being a good citizen," said OHS Principal PJ Caposey.
Students also had an opportunity to share morning laps with visitors from the Oregon fourth grade classrooms, encouraging their participation in philanthropic programs, he said.
Currently, fourth grade students are studying the value of philanthropy and service in their elementary classrooms.
“The day was not only fun, but it really had meaning to it," said senior Sean Kessler. "It helped a lot of kids to understand how severe cancer is and that many people are impacted by it. My favorite parts of the day were the the talent show and the Luminaria Ceremony. Making cookies was awesome, too.”
Relay for Life will remain an annual program at Oregon High School to promote service and citizenship with the student body.
“Relay for Life may be the proudest moment of my tenure at Oregon High School," Caposey said. "We have achieved a good deal of academic and test score success, but to see 500 students and 40 staff members work together to make such a huge event a success with the focus being to serve our greater community truly made it great to be an Oregon Hawk.”