Running for a cause
Sheridan FCCLA raises $1,200 for Relay for Life
SHERIDAN—Three Sheridan High School juniors put their FCCLA project to a bigger use this year, hosting a charity 5k run on Saturday, February 23, that raised nearly $1,200 for the local Relay for Life chapter.
Zoe Lee, Micara Devereaux and Tia Hill were inspired in part by their FCCLA advisor, Roxane Shammel, who is a breast cancer survivor herself. Deveraux’s mother has also been affected by the disease.
“The idea for our project came after Mrs. Shammel had her last chemo treatment a couple months ago,” says Lee. “So, we kind of wanted to do something that dealt with breast cancer.”
Lee’s older sister, who was also an FCCLA member at Sheridan High School before graduating, suggested the idea of hosting a 5k run. The girls began by approaching local businesses and holding a “Pink Night” at one of Sheridan’s home basketball games to raise awareness for the event and garner donations.
“It’s a chapter service project for the state,” says Lee. “So, we try and involve the community, the school and the chapter as much as we can.” They were certainly successful in that endeavor, raising $175 at the Pink Night just by passing a donation bucket to attendees. Sheridan businesses donated everything from money to food for the post-race brunch and ceremony the girls put together.
“We went around businesses asking for donations,” says Hill. “I think all of them donated something, and some donated prizes.”
On Saturday morning, 23 people came to run the 5k, which circumnavigated most of downtown Sheridan. Lee, Deveraux and Hill marked the course themselves before joining in the run. Afterward, participants warmed up with breakfast, awards for the top three finishers and a series of speakers, including Shammel, who told her story of survival.
Staff from Butte’s St. James Hospital also attended to speak about Relay for Life and cancer treatment efforts at St. James and Sheridan mayor Bob Stump signed an official proclamation designating February 23, 2019 as Sheridan’s official Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
“Total, we raised $1,502,” says Lee. “After all our expenses we are giving $1,192 to the Relay for Life team altogether.” That funding will ultimately make its way to the American Cancer Society, where it will aid in efforts to finding a cure for breast and other cancers.
But, while the run is finished, the girls’ work is not.
Lee, Devereaux and Hill are just three of Sheridan’s 14 FCCLA students. Nine of those will attend the state FCCLA competition in Bozeman later this month, presenting five different projects. Between now and then, each team must prepare a display outlining their project and be ready to defend it in front of judges. But state isn’t the only place their sights are set.
“Nationals is in Anaheim, California,” says Lee. “If we’re in the top two in our category at state, we move on and go through the whole process again for the national judges.”
Lee is the only member of her team who has qualified for the national competition before, and if the team makes it this year, it will be her fourth time attending. Shammel, who travels with the students, says it’s another instance where residents of Sheridan have always supported students.
“Not only do we get to do the conference, but we also do a lot of touring,” she says. “The community is really super supportive of it. We do all of our fundraising for that trip after state, from March to June, and we’ve always been able to raise it all.”
Looking back, Lee, Devereaux and Hill are happy with the way their project turned out, but they see areas where they could have improved it. Hill notes they could have advertised earlier to increase awareness, while Devereaux mentions hosting an assembly at school to increase the number of students who turned out. Lee thinks holding a pre-registration to better gauge the number of attendees would have helped them gauge how many supplies to have on hand.
Good thing all three are only juniors: with their eyes set on a national trip in 2019, they already have the tools to make a return appearance in 2020 with a new project.