The Bear Creek School continued its support of Strong Against Cancer to promote school spirit and engage the school population for a worthy cause Jan. 29-Feb. 2. Throughout the week, students sold purple capes and other purple spirit gear with proceeds benefiting Strong Against Cancer. Students raised $5,297.33 for the cause which included the sale of 174 shirts, 120 capes, 118 purple bead necklaces, 68 masks and 49 pairs of socks.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the Bear Creek Compassion in Action program, part of its Bear Creek Leads initiative, has partnered with Strong Against Cancer. In 2015, students sold 130 capes and held a benefit concert, raising $1,510 to support cancer research. In 2016, Upper School students led the charge donating $3,270 to Seattle Children’s after a successful campaign culminating with Spirit Week and Bear Creek/Overlake basketball games. In 2017, students sold merchandise to raise $4,784, including $230 donated by Overlake’s Upper School ASB at the Overlake/Bear Creek basketball games. Through the Compassion in Action program, Bear Creek students also support Hopelink in Redmond by conducting a food drive each fall and Doulos Discovery School in the Dominican Republic by serving on an annual mission trip.
In preparation for Spirit Week and the fundraiser, Dean of Students Rev. Dr. Jeff Gephart spoke on “Inseparable Love” at grades K-8 Chapels, challenging students to consider how God’s love never fails and gives them courage to face all circumstances and love others as God loves them (Romans 8:34-35).
Then to launch Spirit Week on Jan. 29, Upper School students heard from Josh Gustafson and Rachel Wilson, researchers at Seattle Children’s Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. They both work in the Process and Analytical Development group within the Immunotherapy Integration Hub. Gustafson manages the group and primarily focuses on integrating new technology and methods into their clinical manufacturing process. Wilson takes a more biological approach and is designing new protein and nucleic acid supplements to improve cell health and function and to control differentiation. She is also working on an innovative way to make our T-cells and lentiviruses easier to purify.
At Chapel on Jan. 31, Upper School students had the opportunity to learn about and pray for Hunter Rose Jones, a 4-year-old battling an aggressive brain tumor at Seattle Children’s. The week provided many opportunities for students to enjoy a spirit of unity with activities such as crazy dress days, lunchtime contests, and a pep assembly on Friday after lunch. Students also took time to reflect on how cancer has impacted those they love.
The entire student body was encouraged to don purple attire and come out to support the cause and the Grizzlies at the home basketball games against the University Prep Pumas on Feb. 2.
Also, in a show of solidarity, on Jan. 26 when Bear Creek played basketball at Overlake, Bear Creek’s ASB and chapter of the National Honor Society combined to donate $450 toward Overlake’s Coaches Against Cancer campaign benefiting CLIMB, a program for children whose parents have cancer.