Chagrin Falls High School Junior Phoebe Gleeson participated in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Student of the Year Campaign to help raise money to support patients and families affected by blood cancers. Chagrin Falls High School is a legacy school with LLS, and the school community offered great support to Gleeson and her team.
The campaign officially kicked off on January 29 and ended March 19. Gleeson and her team attended the recognition ceremony/dinner held at The Hilton Downtown Cleveland on Saturday, March 19. In addition to Gleeson, team members included Ava Kane, Faith Pfaff, Julia Ashkettle, Mary Catherine Cain, Erin Hartle, Nathan Hill, Ryan Hill, Avery Polcar, Jenna Santamaria, Michaela Plante, Kate Stephenson, Kendall Guddy, Evan Johnson, Mira Haines, Hannah Salmons, Elizabeth Rankin, Julianne Rankin, Maya Sutte, and Sam Kleid.
Last year, Gleeson participated in this campaign as a team member, however, this year, she was chosen to be the candidate for Chagrin Falls High School. Their team, called Team Tigers Tackle Cancer, was determined to raise $30,000 in hopes of being one step closer to finding a cure. The total amount the team raised was $37,401.
Team Tigers Tackle Cancer held various fundraising activities. In January, the team organized Super Bowl squares and sold them at school to teachers and students to try and get many others involved. Additionally, the team also held a school fundraiser towards the end of their campaign called Pie-A-Teacher. They had teachers who would be willing to be pied volunteer, and sold raffle tickets. Students could use these tickets to vote for the teacher they wanted to be pied, and an assembly was held before the beginning of spring break where the official “Pie-ing” was done.
“From my first-hand experience of watching my dad and grandpa struggle with cancer, I have realized how painful a battle against cancer can be for a family, and I want to be able to prevent other families from going through the same,” said Gleeson. “Additionally, to really continue my father’s efforts, I am going to study medicine in college to eventually become a surgical oncologist. Finding a cure to blood-borne cancers means so much to me, my family, and my team.”
Chagrin Falls Schools is a legacy school for their annual participation in the Student of the Year campaign since 2015. This year, the campaign raised over $1 million to fight blood cancer.