Special Events Stories & Photos

MCHS students Caitlin Barley, a PH patient, and
Jeremy Vaughn show off fantastic shirts with the
catchphrase “Peace, Love, PHenomenal Hope.”
Eleventh graders designed and sold the shirts to
support “Help Change a Child’s Life.”

November, 2010
Nickels and Dimes Closer to a Cure

High School Students “Help Change a Child’s Life”

The students of Marion County High School (MCHS) in Guin, Ala., know what it takes to make a difference. In November the close-knit high school hosted an Awareness Month project “Help Change a Child’s Life” in honor of 9th grade MCHS student and PH patient Caitlin Barley and in memory of Katelyn Stovall. Throughout the week of November 9-13, students collected pocket change, sold periwinkle awareness bracelets, and sold lavender hearts to line the halls of the school. Together, they raised $1,351 for PH research. We asked some of the MCHS student organizers — Mrs. Beckon’s 11th grade honors Literature/English class — to tell us more about their special week.

Why did you decide to do a fundraiser centered around pulmonary hypertension?

We have a student in our school who is affected by PH. Since we are a small school, and more like a family, we wanted to do something to help.

Who helped organize the event?

We had a general assembly where the idea was presented to the school as a whole. The organization came from administration, but the fundraising was up to the students.

How long did it take you to plan the project? What were the different features of “Help Change a Child’s Life”?

Again, since we are a small school, we are able to move quickly. The fundraiser was just a week, and we had something different [to collect] each day — pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. We also sold bracelets, purple hearts, and the junior class even designed and sold T-shirts. Friday was “Lavender Day” and the announcement of the class that had raised the most funds.

Students gather together on Friday, “Lavendar Day.”

What was the most memorable part of the fundraiser?

When we sold our hearts (each class had 50) and posted them around the school, we realized that we had helped, even if in a small way, to raise awareness.

What was the most fun aspect of the project?

Competing with the other classes and winning the pizza party!

About how many students do you think participated throughout the week?

We have about 220 students in the 7th – 12th grades and all were involved in one way or another.

Anything else that you would like to add?

We hope that we might inspire others to join the fight to help those who battle pulmonary hypertension on a daily basis. Together we can do more!


By Jessica McKearin
PHA Special Events Manager


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