HALE CENTER, TX (KCBD) - Generally, heads of multi-million dollar non-profits don’t visit small elementary schools in rural towns. But then again, small elementary schools in rural towns generally don’t raise thousands of dollars to fight cancer.
Hale Center’s Akin Elementary has a little more than 250 students enrolled in Pre-K though 4th grade. In just over 4 years students from Akin have raised more than $60,000 for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
It’s enough that the CEO of the non-profit, Stephanie Glance, had to come and visit... and say thanks.
But the story doesn’t start with Monday’s visit. It starts with who Kay Yow was. The longtime basketball coach at North Carolina State University was a fighter. Specifically, she fought breast cancer.
Joining her in the fight were friends and colleagues, including former Texas Tech Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp. Glance, Yow’s longtime assistant coach, also joined in the fight. In the past 11 years the cancer fund has given out more than $5.63 million in research and education grants, and they aren’t stopping.
That brings us back to Akin Elementary, where a carpeted-wall gym hosted Sharp and Glance.
Both women point to the leadership of Akin’s P.E. teacher, Linda Pshigoda, as the reason the school is as active in fundraising as they are.
Pshigoda, a former player for Yow and Glance at N.C. State, says the kids have been amazing in their fundraising, and have been the top school for fundraising each of the last four years.
Glance says what’s most impressive is that the kids really understand what it is they are raising money for - and that they want to see those fighting breast cancer beat it.
Sharp said during today’s presentation, a mother pulled her aside, saying what they love about Akin’s efforts is that it gives students a safe place to talk about what cancer is, and its impact on lives.
That impact has made these kids familiar with Yow, a woman they never got the chance to meet, but one who most certainly would also join in to say thank you.
You can learn more about the Kay Yow Cancer Fund by going to their website at kayyow.com.