On Friday, September 11th, Pope High School conducted a “White Out” at the football game against Rowell High School as part of Rally’s fundraising program 4 Quarters 4 Research Jenna Rohrbach, age 7, sang the National Anthem at the game in memory of her sister Alexa, who died of childhood cancer at the age of 11, on Nov. 28, 2008:
Pamela Steele, who is a key volunteer of the foundation and who runs 4 Quarters 4 Research at Pope High School agreed to be a guest writer on our blog:
“4Quarters4Research is an integral part of the Pope High School experience. The very first 4Q4R was held right here at Pope in an effort to help one of our players, Matt Hobby, raise money for his cancer treatment. In the course of trying to help Matt and his family the Pope community became painfully aware that Matt was one of many kids with cancer struggling to find affective treatment options. This lead us to an understanding that childhood cancers are underfunded by up to $30 million dollars a year. It had been ten years since any research had been done on Matt’s cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, when he was diagnosed. This was unacceptable to all of those who knew and loved Matt and others like him.
Though Matt passed away in May of 2006, he asked us to remember him by raising money for research to help those he left behind still fighting childhood cancer. So, thanks to Matt’s inspiration, we view 4Quarters4Research as part of our legacy of “caring for our community”. Each year we do several key things to help us raise money for research in Matt’s honor:
1. We sell t-shirts, designed by Pope students or parents, to be worn the night of the game, (usually a black out or white out). These shirts are sold during lunch hours 2-3 weeks prior to the game.
2. We invite local Rally kids with cancer to come to the game….and introduce them at halftime…this helps put a “face” on the need for research.
3. We distribute small cardboard banks with pictures of Rally kids and/or Matt to our junior (6th,7th and 8th grade teams and cheerleaders) football program and ask them to join us in our efforts. The one player from each team that raises the most money is given a #70 jersey (This was Matt’s # ). Those winners present a “check” to Rally foundation represented by the Rally kids who are in attendance.
4. Student volunteers make posters with the pictures of Rally kids that tell the story of their journey and help educate the student body about the need for research. These are hung in the cafeteria and main hall of the school.
5. A group of student volunteers write and produce a video that again educates the student body about the facts regarding the need for research. This is then shown through the school AV system or distributed via facebook.
6. A team of Pope Kids and parents, decorate the stadium after school on the afternoon before the game to make it look festive and create excitement.
7. We pass buckets through the stands after the beginning of each quarter and put pictures of the Rally kids on each bucket so that donors can see the “Faces” of childhood cancer one more time.
8. We have a team of parents in the gymnasium count the donations for the evening and large #’s made that student volunteers hold up so that the crowd can see the total grow through out the evening.
All in all, it is a school wide effort, led by the football team/families and student volunteers. Everyone celebrates the joy of giving hope, through research, to the many children and their families in their community facing the difficult journey of childhood cancer.
These are just a few ideas about how to make your 4Quarters4Research a more meaningful experience for your students and community. Be creative and Rally On for Childhood Cancer Research!”