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Middle school joins the fight against cancer

ana anthony/daily globe Fifth- to eighth-graders pose for a photo in their pink attire Wednesday for the Worthington Middle School's breast cancer awareness week.

WORTHINGTON -- A sea of pink was evident Wednesday as students made their way to get their lunch trays in the Worthington Middle School cafeteria.

In conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the WMS Student Council designated this week to heighten cancer awareness.

"We try to focus not only on breast cancer, but cancer in general," said student council adviser Carissa Franken. "It just happens that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month."

This is the second year the student council has planned a cancer awareness week, but Principal Jeff Luke hopes it will become an annual event.

Special education teacher Chad Duffy said students raised almost $700 last year by selling pink ribbons. The goal this year is to reach $1,000 with $2 bracelets being sold throughout the week. The switch from ribbons to bracelets has been successful so far, judging by the number of students sporting pink bracelets on Wednesday.

"I think we'll make it," Franken said about reaching the $1,000 mark. "For a middle school to raise $1,000 is pretty phenomenal."

Proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society, and from conversations that floated around the cafeteria, students knew that the efforts -- from the bracelets they purchased to the pink attire they were asked to wear -- was for a good cause.

"Our hope is that when we give the money to the American Cancer Society, it can stay in the Worthington community," Franken added.

While some may think that pink is typically a color for girls, Luke said he was impressed with the number of boys who made the effort to dress in pink.

"A lot of boys see NFL games and the players in their pink shoes and towels so they are dressing up to," Luke said. "For their football uniforms, some of the boys had pink duct tape on their shoes."

Students were not the only ones raising money for the American Cancer Society. For the price of $1 a day, staff members were seen clad in jeans.

As the school's week-long activities end tomorrow, there will be a drawing for the school's staff and finale announcing the total amount collected.