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Carolina Panther thanks students at Rea View

Jordan Gross, a tackle for the Carolina Panthers, personally thanks more than 800 elementary students at Rea View Elementary for raising $7,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

As if the satisfaction of raising $7,500 to help fight cystic fibrosis wasn’t reward enough, more than 800 elementary students at Rea View Elementary were thanked personally last week by Jordan Gross, a tackle for the Carolina Panthers.
“I want to thank you not only from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, but personally thank you for giving,” Gross said. “You gave your money, your time and your interest. I want you to remember how special it was for you to think of others, and how you were willing to give of yourselves for someone else.”
The school has raised money over the past two years in honor of Olivia Jones, the 3-year-old daughter of Dr. Jay Jones, principal at Marvin Elementary, and his wife, Amanda. Olivia suffers from the disease.
Rea View students saw a live presentation about cystic fibrosis on their school’s closed circuit television station (RVTV). Gretchen Rohleder, the special events manager of the Charlotte Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, talked on aire with Olivia and her mother about cystic fibrosis.
The school’s fundraising coordinator, Rea View teacher and student government advisor James Reese, said Olivia helped students put a face with the disease and learn about such things as the daily medicines Olivia takes. 
Rohleder spoke on how classrooms could raise money by having a "Jar Wars" contest for two weeks to see which top three classrooms could collect the most money. Those three classrooms, she said, would then receive a pizza party in their classrooms. 
Gross’ surprise appearance was another reward for raising so much money over the past two years. Gross, who has a niece who suffers from CF, serves on the board of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Charlotte. 
Rea View Elementary was also recognized by the Charlotte Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at its annual banquet for raising the second highest amount of money for CF by an elementary school in the Charlotte area.
“We were shocked the first year when we raised $4,500,” Reese said. “We never expected that. We had hoped to raise $1,000. But they exceeded that in four days. It was outstanding to have that much support from the students, the staff and the parents.”
When Gross came on stage to greet the students, excitement exploded in the room with applause and cheers.
“I kept it as a surprise,” Reese explained. “I wanted the students to appreciate the moment. They’re thankful that a player of his magnitude would take the time to come talk to them.”
Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disorder that causes the production of abnormally thick mucus, leading to the blockage of the pancreatic ducts, intestines, and bronchi and often resulting in respiratory infection.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: May 21, 2010 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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