By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun
For the third straight year, Bowie students and faculty have “Teamed Up to Fight Cancer” — and each team was armed with a catchy name, a sports theme, and its own banner and sporty accessories. Bowie Elementary School is an important part of the success of American Cancer Society’s Navarro County Relay for Life. This year, they raised $4,100.52 for cancer research, bringing their three-year total to over $15,000.
“Our school had a three-tier plan to raise money this year,” said Gay Lyn Hendrik, dyslexia teacher and organizer of Recess Relay. “One, we sold T-shirsts that students and staff wore at the event and on spirit days; two, we had a Jean day on April 26 where students, staff and faculty paid $2 to wear jeans to school; and three, students collected donations from family and friends as well as participating in their class’ coin drive.”
In addition to those fundraisers, Painting With a Twist in Waco sponsored a Painting With A Purpose event May 3 where attendees painted an amazing Tiger portrait. The owner donated half the registration fees from that event to the Navarro County Relay for Life.
“The class from each grade that collected the most money will dunk a teacher in the dunking booth Friday,” Hendrik said. “Thank you to Darrin Murray for the use of the booth and to the Corsicana Fire Department for filling it up.”
With fun team names such as “Hopeful Heroes,” “Smarty Pants,” and “Fireballs, certain students were chosen by teachers as ones who have been touched by cancer in their family, or have gone above and beyond in helping Recess Relay be successful. Those students led the school during the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas Flag, and served as banner bearers for the Survivor Walk as well as the school walk.
Just like “real” Relay, the Bowie Relay began with a Survivor Walk, where those who have survived cancer walk the “track” with silence and respect, and once they crossed the finish line, the cheering began and teams began their competition in earnest.
“Bowie students and teachers carried individual posters, which represent someone they’re walking in memory or honor of,” Hendrik said. “I walked in memory of a former student, Jim Cummins. Jim was in my second grade class when he fell victim to brain cancer. He would be 20 years old now.
“He is the reason I do this. Jim has not been forgotten — he left a mark.”
The class of J.P. Johnson, “Johnson’s Warriors” was awarded the first ever “Spirit of Bowie” award, because they exhibited the true spirit of doing for others.
“Thank you to the children, parents, teachers, staff, custodians, cafeteria ladies, CISD Administration, and many wonderful people in our community,” she said. “So many wonderful people worked so very hard to make our Bowie Relay for Life successful. When a lot of people do something they may think is small, great things can happen!”
American Cancer Society celebrated it’s 100th Anniversary May 22, and the celebration will be rolled in with the Navarro County Relay for Life in this neck of the woods.
“Kathryn Martinez asked me to organize the celebration on the 22nd, but since our relay was so close we decided to have it as a part of our Relay,” said Becky Long, committee member. “I made a big card with the logo to be displayed at the Survivor dinner, where postcards will be available for everyone to sign and attach to the card, then we’ll move it out to the stage for Relay. The American Cancer Society Navarro County Board will be present to acknowledge the celebration.”