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Doing Something Bigger Than Yourself

Pictured are students wearing their "Fight For Dwight" T-shirts that were sold to raise money for Dwight Williams, Piedmont alumnus who is battling leukemia.

The 4th annual Care Week was held from April 4-8 and focuses on students ‘doing something bigger than themselves.’ During the week, students gained awareness of Hometown Heroes, Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, cystic fibrosis, and leukemia through videos, testimonials, and fundraising. The week concluded with a Student/Faculty basketball game, in which the faculty was victorious! Care Week 2011 was a success once again and raised over $3100 to benefit Dwight Williams, Cystic Fibrosis, and the Bloom Clinic.       

Some of the faculty for Piedmont High School battled students who signed up to play. They both had several practices and were ready to hit the court! Some of the faculty who participated in this event were Mrs. Breitenfeld, Mr. Massie, Mr. Montenaro, Captain Werder, Mr. Apple, and Coach Gearhart. The student team was coached by Tanner Cobb and they gave a valiant effort for a good cause. After the “official” game, the faculty proved victorious by a score of 38-20.  However, students had the opportunity to ‘buy points’ during the last quarter, and after this effort, the students were the winners by a score of 81-43!

Piedmont High School’s Care Week helps focus students on others who have disabilities. All of the proceeds from the basketball game went toward providing support to people fighting cystic fibrosis and leukemia.  Joanne Long, Care Week student coordinator, stated, “Care week is a week to put others before yourself and to help raise awareness of the common illnesses.” To raise money, students sold tickets and “Fight with Dwight” T-shirts during all lunches. If you bought your ticket, you were able to get out of your fourth block and watch the basketball game while supporting a good cause. When Taylor Thomas, Student Government representative, was asked how the basketball game helps cystic fibrosis, she responded “I feel that it is a great opportunity to get out of class, but in doing that, you are donating and showing support and care for those with cystic fibrosis and leukemia.”

Another focus for the week was Dwight Williams and the Bloom Clinic in Charlotte. Dwight is a Piedmont alumnus who graduated in 2010. He was studying at the University of Maryland when his symptoms of leukemia resurfaced for the third time in his life. He underwent three rounds of intense chemotherapy in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. A suitable donor was not found so he had a transplant using a new procedure, which has thus far proven very successful. Dwight remains in Durham, close to Duke University Hospital, while he is monitored by medical staff to insure his bone marrow is reproducing successfully. One third of the proceeds from Care Week will go to Dwight’s family to help with their medical expenses while in Durham. The Bloom Clinic will also receive one third of the proceeds since that is where Dwight was treated during his second battle with leukemia. You can follow Dwight’s progress on Facebook by searching for his “Fight with Dwight" page. 

At the game, another Piedmont alumnus, Rebecca Fish and her two children, made an appearance. They are called “Team Fighting Fish” because both of her children have been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Emily Briggs and her mother were also present at the basketball game as Emily is very close to someone who has multiple sclerosis. Emily commented that “The student/faculty basketball game is a fun event that allows our student body to help reach out and help others. It also lets them have a great time while doing it.” The final one third of the proceeds will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 

Thanks to all students and staff for their efforts in raising money and awareness during Care Week 2011.

Written by: Katelyn Callahan
Posted: Apr 14, 2011 by Donna Helms

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