Despite the event being rescheduled because of bad weather, Franklin Elementary students celebrated their fundraising efforts for Relay For Life.
Fourth graders, raised $870 during their penny drive the week of Sept. 28- Oct. 2 for Relay for Life. The event had been planned for Friday, Oct. 2, but was rescheduled due to heavy rainfall expected following Hurricane Joaquin.
“We hope to help others raise money, knowledge and awareness about cancer,” said Tonya Fletcher, public information officer at Franklin Elementary School.
Fourth grade students assembled in the gym on Friday, where guest speaker Jim Armbrister, commissioner for the city of Mount Airy, spoke. Decorated bags lined the floor of the gymnasium, where students and special guests who attended walked laps around those bags inside the gymnasium.
Armbrister, a retired officer for Mount Airy Police Department and a former D.A.R.E officer, he is battling cancer.
In hopes to encourage children to see “how beautiful everything is around us,” Armbrister spoke briefly about his journey battling cancer. As he waved is arms up and down, briskly pacing in front of the students, asking them if they thought he could do that, or if he had cancer, the majority of students responded with “no,” to which Armbrister quickly responded with, “Wrong, I have cancer.”
He followed that up by asking and answering a series of questions, including what is cancer, is cancer contagious, is everybody with cancer going to die soon?
Answering these questions to the best of his ability, Armbrister made a point to encourage children to “enjoy things, don’t waste your time and life.”
One student, Leland Martinez, stated to Armbrister, “When people die from cancer they go Heaven.” Armbrister was surprised by the remark, to which he lit up and responded, “You are a good man.”
Jackson Graves, a student, was asked to lead a the first lap, a silent lap, in honor of his friend who had died from cancer. Jackson provided each participant with a purple ribbon in memory of his friend.
Fletcher closed the assembly with words of encouragement before the walk began, “Over a million lives have been saved from money raised by Relay for Life, and each of you are apart of saving a life.”
Relay for Life has been rescheduled for Friday Oct. 16 at Veterans Park, from 6 p.m. until 12 a.m.
Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or on Twitter @MtAiryNewsEva