Third time’s a charm

StuCo honors individuals who battled cancer during playoff pep rally at Tiger Stadium


Doug Kyles

Student body officers, senior Will Carter, Ethan Power and Helen Clark Hays, read names of those who battled cancer during the playoff pep rally at Tiger Stadium Nov. 9.

Story by Nashita Kalam, Staff Writer

The stadium lights shone brightly as students, parents and teachers listened to the student body officers read the names, one by one, of those who battled cancer. 

On Nov. 9 during the playoff pep rally at Tiger Stadium, Student Council hosted an event to commemorate individuals who have survived or lost their lives to cancer. Student body president Will Carter and co-vice presidents, Helen Clark Hays and Ethan Power, called out the names of the people who had a lantern bought in their honor. 

To put together the occasion, StuCo sold lanterns for $10, each lantern representing one person. Lanterns were sold during JV and varsity football games and during school. Overall, StuCo raised around $500 to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for cancer studies. 

“We bought 100 [lanterns], and we ended up selling about 80,” StuCo sponsor Susan Waldrep said. “Our goal was to sell about 25 to 50, so we were pretty happy with it.” 

The event didn’t go as it was originally planned, but Waldrep found a way to make things work. The event was supposed to take place as a lantern launch during the Oct. 22 football game but got postponed to the next home game. The event couldn’t take place during the next game due to winds. 

Eventually, the lantern launch was cancelled citing safety hazard issues. Leadership students planned a balloon release in its place. However, because of environmental concerns it was decided that the balloons would just be showcased at the assembly. 

“I do [think the event was successful even though it didn’t go as planned]. It’s more of being a leader in life. It doesn’t matter what all you planned for. Some things may show up and something may happen and your plans change,” Waldrep said. “I think what really stands out is that you adapt and you still do something to make it happen. It may not have been exactly what you wanted, but we still honored those that we wanted to honor, so it was still a very successful event.”

For many students, this event was a special way to remember and honor family members who fought cancer. 

“Even though we couldn’t do a lantern launch or a balloon release, it was still special,” sophomore Reese Townsend said. “Waldrep did a good job thinking quickly about using balloons once we found out we couldn’t use lanterns. It was still nice and all that matters is that we got to honor and remember the ones affected by cancer.”