MANLIUS — Friends stick together, and a group of Bureau Valley High School teens are doing just that to help a classmate battling cancer.
The students call themselves Cora’s Crew, and they are honoring classmate Cora Peters this week with special activities each day at the school, culminating with a benefit fundraiser on Saturday.
Cora, a BVHS junior, was diagnosed with cancer in November 2009 when she was 14 years old. She is the daughter of Dave and Karen Peters of Walnut.
On Monday, the BVHS students wore their class colors to school. Today, Tuesday, the students could pay $1 to wear a hat. Wednesday is Mismatch Day. On Thursday, students can pay $1 and wear their pajamas to school. Friday is Purple Day, a favorite color of Cora’s. Friday will also include a volleyball game between the boys and girls, as well as a basketball shoot-out.
But the big fundraiser comes on Saturday, from 3 to 10 p.m., at the school. From 3 to 5 p.m., the students will host a fun fair for all ages, including games and cotton candy. From 5 to 7 p.m., the students will offer a pulled pork dinner, silent auction and fashion show bidding. From 7 to 7:30 p.m. will be a live auction, followed by the fashion show.
The top bidders (female students) for the fashion show will get to have their “models’” (a group of about 20 male students) dressed in outfits of the winners’ choosing for the fashion show.
Silent auction items include, in part, a Ducks Unlimited print, a Coach purse, American Girl doll, a bicycle, pies and lots of gift baskets. As a special feature for the auction, BVHS Principal Eric Lawson is also donating an item but is keeping that item a secret until the day.
Organizers for this week’s activities include juniors Shannon Reuter, Kalie Rumbold, Janelle Norden and senior Jordan Monier. Working with the students is school counselor Vicki Bailey.
In talking about their friendship with Cora, Shannon said the group decided to have this special week and benefit because they are great friends with Cora, and she hasn’t had a benefit for quite a while to help with expenses.
The group wanted to let Cora know the school and students support her and are behind her, Janelle said. That’s the main goal, she added.
Jordan said he brings that male input into planning the benefit. Cora has been an inspiration to everyone on a day-to-day basis and shows incredible strength, he said.
Kalie agreed, saying Cora has been an inspiration because she has kept so positive throughout everything and never seems to get down or discouraged.
Lawson also commented on the importance of friendship and the upcoming benefit for Cora.
“It’s exciting to see our students step up and want to be leaders and to help others,” Lawson said. “Obviously a lot of the things we try to instill in our kids in the high school deal with academics, but we also want them to be great citizens, to be great friends and to help others. We see these great qualities in the kids here in this building and in the kids in this room (benefit organizers).”
The public is invited to attend Saturday’s benefit with all proceeds going to Cora and her family. Additional items and donations are still being accepted for the benefit. More information is available by calling the high school at 815-445-4004.
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