‘Pink Out’ raises record amount for patients

PIQUA — Piqua High School students’ third year of raising money for the UVMC Cancer Care Center through “Pink Out” activities resulted in a record $4,500 donated for use exclusively by local cancer patients.

The fruits of the students’ efforts — in the form of a check — were presented to UVMC representatives at a Piqua football game and again in a visit to the Cancer Care Center in Troy in early January.

As part of the fundraising effort, the students sold 650 pink long-sleeved T-shirts declaring on the front “Time to Tackle Breast Cancer.”

This year’s project was led by students Carly Brown, Liz Duer, Jack Schmiesing and Kyle Ingle. The students for the first time brought corporate sponsors to the project.

In the project’s first year, close to $2,000 was raised by a group led by Carly Brown’s sister, Conner Brown, and friend Heidi Strevell. The next year, $2,500 was raised.

“I am so very proud of them for doing this,” said Jean Heath, director of the UVMC Cancer Care Center. “These kids and the community really came through. Every dollar they put into this stays here for patients who come to our center.”

The money from the community will provide “that extra special touch” for patients, Heath said. It will be used for patients needing mammograms but not able to afford them, massages for those who cannot afford them and to buy breast cancer education books for patients and pink and white camisoles for patients undergoing treatment.

“It is because of people like this in the community that we are able to do these extra special things,” Heath said.

The students said they wanted to bring the school and the community together to help fight breast cancer.

“I wanted to make sure we are helping others and, being personally affected by breast cancer, I want to make sure others can get education and help,” Carly Brown said.

“We want to help educate the community and show awareness,” Schmiesing said.

Chip Hare, the Piqua City Schools’ athletic director, said the project “brought people together for a common cause bigger than themselves.”

Cutline: Piqua High School students Jack Schmiesing, Kyle Ingle, Liz Duer and Carly Brown present the 2015 Pink Out check to UVMC’s Terry Fry and Jean Heath.