SCOUTING AROUND: Ranger students lead Pink Out day
One day, seventh-grader Dominick Rummler and eighth-grader Tate Raper had an idea to spray their hair pink and get the whole school involved. The Ranger Elementary/Middle School students both run cross country, knew of school sports having pink days and thought they could bring it to their school.
The boys presented the idea as a fundraiser to their coach, Brandy Raper, who just happens to be assistant principal at Ranger as well as Raper’s mom. The boys wondered if Principal Kelley McDonald would approve of students coloring their hair for the day for breast cancer awareness.
“They came to have the idea for that, and I was impressed,” she said.
McDonald told them that since it would be for a good cause, it should be OK.
The boys worked with Theresa Allen, one of their teachers and advisor to the Junior Beta Club, of which they are both members. They worked together to determine ways to spread the word, ask Hiwassee Dam Elementary/Middle to participate and find a local cause to donate the money raised.
As they were searching, a friend told them a scholarship was started in memory of a teacher who died from cancer, so the boys decided the money raised would go to the Monica Sudderth Stiles Memorial Scholarship. Stiles, a teacher assistant at Murphy Elementary School who had ovarian cancer, passed away Sept. 8.
“We just wanted to give back to the community,” Rummler said.
On Friday, several Ranger students showed up to school wearing pink and breast cancer awareness shirts for Pink Out Day. Some even came to school with their hair colored pink, for which they paid a $1 donation.
For those who didn’t arrive with their hair pink, teacher Sherry Brookins brought six cans of temporary hair color spray, Rummler brought two and Aiden Lovett brought three. Brookins even helped by spraying the coloring on any students who wanted their hair pink.
“I made everybody pink today,” she said.
Middle school teachers were proud of their students. At lunch, about 85 percent of them had pink in their hair.
“They are kids concerned about the world around them and wanted to make a difference,” Tonya Forrister said.
Jennifer Angelopulos said she even had students who paid for their classmates who forgot to bring money for the event.
Between the two schools, at least $275 was raised, with more than $200 coming from Ranger students.
“I’m happy it’s going to a good cause and is not just to have fun,” Rummler said. “I was shocked to see this many people, especially the boys, participate.”
While Rummler didn’t personally know anyone who had cancer, Raper’s grandmother and one of his mom’s friends each had breast cancer twice. Students with family members who had cancer, like Ari Collier, appreciated the support the school showed because of the idea of the two boys.
“It’s pretty cool that everyone actually wanted to do this,” Collier said.
The boys were happy to hear their Pink Out idea helped show support to everyone affected by cancer.
“It shows that everybody cares about everybody else,” Rummler said.
“It doesn’t matter what gender your are, or what disease have, anyone can help you,” Raper added.
“Chances are you will know someone who gets cancer,” Rummler said. “You don’t always know who it’s going to happen to.”
Woodford honored in heritage calendar
Ann Miller Woodford of Andrews can add the month of December to her list of accomplishments. She was selected as one 12 honorees highlighted in the 2019 version of The Heritage Calendar: Celebrating the North Carolina African-American Existence.
Woodford was nominated by the students and faculty at Western Carolina University and she was notified that she was selected a couple of months ago. Student Katelynn Patterson interviewed Woodford and wrote her biography, while Woodford’s good friend Sherry McCollum of Murphy took the photo used for the calendar.
The biography describes Woodford as a “Renaissance woman,” with accomplishments as an artist, entrepreneur, economic developer and community activist. She is recognized for being the first African-American to work in Cherokee County’s government as county planner, serving as the first African-American director of the Andrews Chamber of Commerce, establishing One Dozen Who Care Inc. and preserving the history of area African-Americans in her book When All God’s Children Get Together.
All honorees were welcomed at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh last week.
“I was very pleased to have met Gov. Roy Cooper, to shake his hand, be personally congratulated by him and to have been honored to be the December page on the calendar,” Woodford said. “There are so many folks who deserve this great honor.”
Other honorees were Dorothy Allen-Freeman, Michael Bonner, Arabelle Bryant, Angela Caraway, Thomas Day, Engine Four (North Carolina’s first integrated fire department), Diane English, Howard Lee, Al McSurely, Orage Quarles and Virginia Tally.
The first Heritage Calendar was created in 2013. AT&T presents the calendar each year, and the state Department of Public Instruction creates lesson plans based on the honorees for teachers across the state to use in their classrooms. The calendar is available to download at ncheritagecalendar.com.
Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, email@example.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.