NLMUSD’S JOHNSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL RAISED $10,000 FOR CHARITY
American Cancer Society representatives presented Johnston Elementary School first-grade teacher Dan Calma, center, with a Spirit of Relay award Sept. 23 at the school’s flag ceremony.
Photo by Tammye Mcduff.
By Tammye McDuff
The American Cancer Society (ACS) honored Johnston Elementary School Relay For Life / Norwalk fundraising team with the “Spirit of Relay” award, recognizing their efforts to raise $10,000 in donations during the 2016 Relay For Life event on June 25, 2016.
Relay for Life Norwalk coordinator Jennifer Perez and ACS representative Sarah Ambrose presented the award to Johnston team captain and first-grade teacher Dan Calma during a flag ceremony at the elementary school on Friday, September 23rd.
Team Johnston was assembled in 2012 to support school secretary and cancer survivor Sue Evangelho. That year, the team raised more than $5,000. Evangelho passed away later in 2012 and the school, led by Calma, has honored her fight against the disease by participating in the 24-hour relay every year. Since 2012, Team Johnston has raised nearly $50,000 in donations for the ACS.
“We do this for our family and our friends,” Calma said. “The motto of the Relay for Life is that cancer never sleeps. We will continue to relay as long as cancer is an issue.”
The team’s 53 members reached their $10,000 fundraising goal by hosting pizza parties, bake sales, selling popsicles and holding other events. Students also raised $1,000 from filling empty water bottles with dimes via their “Silver Saves Lives” project.
“Team Johnston are truly heroes in the fight against cancer,” Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Board of Education President Karen Morrison said. “To see our District rally together in support of Evangelho and continue her mission is an inspiration to us all.”
Team Johnston has been recognized with a series of individual and group awards since 2012. The team was named to the Jade Club for raising $10,000, and won awards for having the largest team and selling the most Luminaria bags, which are personalized bags lit by a candle in honor of someone affected by cancer.
Calma and Johnston attendance clerk Norma Avila were named to the Grand Club for raising more than $1,000 each. Calma was also named to the National All-Star team for raising more than $2,500 – he raised more than $3,300 this year.
“I am so proud of Dan Calma and Team Johnston, who have worked so hard to keep Sue and Peggy’s memory alive, and are giving hope to so many battling this disease,” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Thank you to the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life Norwalk for recognizing their dedication and spirit.”
Held in 20 countries and in more than 5,000 communities, Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the ACS, a 24-hour event where volunteer teams – after spending the year collecting donations from friends, families, community members and local businesses – take turns walking or running on a track at a local school or park.
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