---- — Kids with cancer. That’s probably one of the saddest phrases in the world.
But students at Andover’s three middle schools are working to bring smiles to the faces of those battling the disease, by selling T-shirts and socks to raise money for The Jimmy Fund. The Jimmy Fund solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world.
“Our friend has leukemia - he’s in remission - and we wanted to do something for him,” said Ben Andresen, 14, and an eighth-grader at West Middle School.
That friend and classmate does not want to go public with his story, so his friends are happy to handle the publicity and fundraising for the Jimmy Fund.
Recent school dances at West, Doherty and Wood Hill middle schools kicked off the local Rally Against Cancer campaign off as Team Andover’s fundraising total is already at $1,500.
The team designed red, white and blue Rally Against Cancer T-shirts and got matching navy crew socks. The items are now on sale at all three schools. Proceeds will be added to that $1,500 account.
“Our schools have been really supportive,” said Kevin LaBrie, 13, another West Middle School eighth-grader.
A photo of the Team Andover Rally Against Cancer team from a dance at West Middle School show Kevin, Ben and Nathaniel Wiley, Cedric Gillette and Michael O’Connor.
This is the third consecutive year that Andover’s trio of middle schools is involved with the Rally Against Cancer project. The Andover team has raised $15,000 over those years, according to WMS parent volunteer Karen Wiley. There have been lollipop sales in the past and the popular coin wars between the schools is back, where students can donate by dropping coins in jugs. The Andover team is also raffling off an I-Pad this year.
To purchase T-shirts and socks, go to sites.google.com/site/westmiddlepac/jimmy-fund-rally. To make a donation to the Jimmy Fund for “Team Andover” go to rallyagainstcancer.org/2013/teamandover.
Team Andover and Team Sanborn Bulldogs, of Sanborn Elementary School, led by Principal Patricia Barrett, are also involved in a chance to meet Red Sox players Will Middlebrooks or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, according to the Jimmy Fund.
“When the Red Sox suit up against the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day at Fenway Park Monday, April 8, Red Sox Nation is encouraged to Rally Against Cancer. By contributing $5 or more to the Jimmy Fund, participants have the opportunity to “Dress for Sox-cess” and wear Boston Red Sox gear to work or school,” according to a release. “The top fundraising workplace and school (K-12, college, or university) are each eligible for a visit from Middlebrooks or Saltalamacchia, who are also Jimmy Fund co-captains for the 2013 season.”