A student voice.

The Communicator

Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

Lanterns were raised in the air as a symbol of hope.

Survivors, supporters, and those mourning loved ones alike gathered at Riverside Park in the cool fall weather for the Light the Night fundraiser on Sept. 30. The event raised money, support, and awareness for The Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS), a group which funds blood cancer research and treatment.

Light the Night is a particularly important event for Community High for a personal reason. Emma Rubenstein, daughter of CHS teacher Anne Thomas and sister of former student Hannah Rubenstein, passed away from leukemia in 2009. To support Thomas, many members of her forum attended.

“I think [Light the Night] is a really great thing,” said Julia Ammer from Thomas forum. “For everyone to come together and support a cause is really cool.”

Lukis Brod, also in Thomas forum, agreed, and added why he believes the cause is so important. “It helps people without insurance raise money to pay for medical bills, because they are really expensive. It’s like hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer treatment,” he said. “And especially with the threat of the ACA [Affordable Care Act] being repealed, it’s a big deal.”

Additionally, Brett Kilgore’s forum, previously Strassel forum, has been fundraising for Team Emma for five years. They raised over $1,800 this year with their annual “pieing” event in which donations are collected in jars with teacher’s names, and the top three collectors are smashed face-first in cream pie on the back lawn of Community. They far surpassed their goal of $1,250. Many members of Kilgore forum were also present at Light the Night to celebrate their fundraising success.

“We’re here with Team Emma celebrating all of the funds that we were able to raise together as a forum and to show unity and support a great event,” said Kilgore, smiling while posing for pictures with his forum members. “Fiona [Lynch] really led the charge. She called me this summer saying that this is a priority that we’ve done the past four or five years as a forum, and just inheriting the forum, it was really cool to see that heart for service.”

At the far end of the lawn, a VIP tent was set up with catered barbeque and drinks where Team Emma hung out before the walk started. A bouncy house and activities were set up for people of all ages to enjoy. Entertainers walked around juggling, dancing, walking on stilts, and performing tricks. While waiting for the walk to start, the crowd twirled their colored lanterns.

The introduction ceremony started at 7:30 p.m., when organizers took the stage to talk about LLS and its impact on research and patient care.

Terry O’Donnell, a Volunteer Chairman, encouraged event-goers to sign to support legislative change in the state of Michigan. He has been working to change health insurance law to include the more effective oral chemotherapy for cancer patients for the past five to six years, and has been volunteering for other LLS efforts for the past 20. He is disappointed that Michigan is one of the last states to make this change. However, he was glad for the Light the Night event.

“People that usually come to Light the Night are in some way connected with somebody that has one of the blood cancers, and so they’re always looking for things that they can do to help further the cause of finding better treatments and cures,” he said. “They are great advocates on behalf of the blood cancer patients once they know of a way in which they can help thousands of patients by talking to our representatives and getting the law changed.”

As the night grew darker, those who were mourning a loved one bared a yellow lantern and were asked to hold them up; those who are survivors moved to the center of the crowd forming a circle before they held up their white lanterns; and everyone else was then asked to raise their lanterns to create a beautiful picture of love and supports for the cause.

The walk made a loop around the Huron River following Wall St., Broadway St., Fuller Rd., and Maiden Ln., about 1.3 miles. Buses and cars passing by the walk honked their horns in support. Soon, all that could be seen were the lit lanterns, truly lighting the night.

After the marchers filed back into Riverside Park, Carrie Copeland, the statewide director for Light the Night, prepared to announce the total amount raised that night. Together, the group of supporters for Team Emma raised over $10,000 as of Oct. 4, and the LLS raised $134,894 from the Ann Arbor event.

“I am absolutely elated by how much we’ve raised,” Copeland said. “It is so meaningful for patients and families and the research that we are going to be able to provide.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    FRONT PAGE

    Edgar Osorio: Student, Football Player, Brother, Immigrant

  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    FRONT PAGE

    Experience Dudley Forum Day–Minus the Rain

  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    FRONT PAGE

    Traver Creek

  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    FRONT PAGE

    Pieing for a Cause

  • SERIES

    Sights and Sounds of Kauai

  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    FRONT PAGE

    Bringing Ann Arbor Out of The Darkness

  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    A & E

    Father John Misty Returns to Metro-Detroit

  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    FRONT PAGE

    Crowds Show Up and Clubs Show Out for Club Fair

  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    FRONT PAGE

    Opening Day at Community High

  • Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research

    NEWS

    Reflection and Anticipation as CHS Class of 2017 Celebrates Graduation

A student voice.
Community Forums Light The Night for Cancer Research