A group of Fort Fairfield Middle/High School students are learning the importance of giving back to their community by supporting the County’s premier cancer care service. The seventh graders are hosting a fun evening to raise money for Aroostook Cancer Care at TAMC.
The students, mostly 13-year-olds, discussed several different fundraiser ideas before settling on a movie night on February 28 in the Fort Fairfield Middle/High School cafeteria. They will be hosting a showing of Despicable Me II, complete with popcorn and drinks. Students who attend will pay $6 for the event, and the proceeds will go to Aroostook Cancer Care.
“This is a student project,” said Sharon Kozura, advisor for the student group. “January was community service month for our advisor groups in the middle/high school. Each group was to pick a project. The entire seventh grade spent an hour sorting food at a local food bank, but my group wanted to do something different on their own.”
The event required some planning, but once word was out about the fundraiser, the students had some help.
“Walmart has donated the money to buy drinks for the event, and the school’s athletic department will be donating the popcorn. The business department in the school let them print out color posters to advertise,” said Kozura.
Each year, the advisor groups at Fort Fairfield Middle/High School choose projects, and this is the first time Aroostook Cancer Care has been the beneficiary of their community spirit. Kozura says a family member of one of the students in the group received treatment at Aroostook Cancer Care and that may have been a factor in the group’s choice to donate their event proceeds to the organization.
Brenda A. Baker RN, manager of Aroostook Cancer Care, first heard about the project a couple weeks ago, and the idea of a group of young teenagers considering Aroostook Cancer Care as their project beneficiary moved her in unexpected ways.
“I think it is fantastic, but it also saddens me a bit as it shows just how much cancer affects everyone, even the children in our communities,” she said.
There are two ways in which donations such as this benefit Aroostook Cancer Care.
“First we often receive donations to our unit, which in the past have been used to purchase patient care items which are beneficial to the comfort and safety of our patients, such as new treatment chairs,” explained Baker. “Second, we have recently set up a patient assistance fund that is in the final stages of being implemented, and these monies will be used to assist patients with cancer related travel, lodging and other costs.”
The funds being donated by the Fort Fairfield students will be used to bolster the new patient support fund, according to Baker.
TAMC Cancer Care is the most comprehensive cancer treatment service north of Bangor. Aroostook Cancer Care provides medical oncology and hematology services. TAMC also provides the only cancer radiation treatment service in northern Maine.