Dreary weather did not damper the Rebels spirit as they trudged through the rain on their walk for a cure in Boston on October 2. Walpole High decided to participate in the walk again because of Student Council’s campiaghning and the Walpole High community wanted to help make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. The annual Breast Cancer walk in Boston was a huge success, surpassing prior years and expectations. “Out of all the walks I have done I am most proud of this” said Assistant Principal Mr. William Hahn. A On the march last year, the team of Rebels had 60 participants, made up of mostly faculty and student government members, and rose over $3o0. However, this year, those students “acted as more of a catalyst, and the involvement was more student led,” said Hahn. The leaders of this walk were seniors Alex Wong, Mary Kate Bindas, Jacqueline Reilly, Natalie Doyle, and Tessa Bloechl. These girls did a phenomenal job fundraising and advertising for the walk, raising awareness throughout the school, and helping make this walk the most successful one in years.
All aspects of the walk this year outdid last year’s efforts. Last year, the student body was challenged to fill two buses; this year, the challenge given to the students was to fill two buses again. The Rebel team consisted of 100 people, 40 more than last year. Even though the main focus is to raise awareness of the disease, raising money for this cause is also an important aspect of the walk. Last year, as a school, Walpole raised a little more than $300, but this year the expectation was raised to $500. Once again the Walpole High School community went above and beyond, raising over $780. Online contributions, individual efforts, and penny wars (held by Student Council) helped reach this overall amount. Sophomore Kinsey Hirae led the donations by single handedly raising $135–almost half of last year’s total. Even though the walk has past, the fundraising is not over. One can still go online to the Walpole Team page and continue contributing to this cause. Furthermore, the Walpole basketball team is continuing their annual “Pink Night” to help raise awareness and money for breast cancer. “Pink “Night includes both the boys and girls basketball teams wearing pink, and encouraging their fans to wear pink, in an effort to raise awareness on Breast Cancer. Student Council is planning to team up with the basketball team this year, and they are planning on putting all donations towards Breast Cancer Awareness.
The walk itself was an inspirational one; the Boston commons were “a sea of human compassion,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Ed Conor. Free donuts and coffee were distributed at the beginning of the event, which inspired the participants to start and finish the walk strong on this rainy day. Every 100 yards, participants were greeted by family members and Breast Cancer survivors cheering and urging them to the finish. The festivities were not over at the finish line, however, because participants were led into a clearing that were filled with booths of survivors and support groups. Also at the finish line, one was given free snacks, sodas, and waters. The hour-long walk was concluded with free gifts and accompanying stories from companies supporting the walk. Even though the stories were emotional and tugged on people’s heart strings, it was inspirational to hear these strong men and women tell their survivor stories.
The walk was a memorable one that students and faculty will not forget. “It felt great participating, and made [one] feel like [they] were really making a difference,” said sophomore John White. Next year the Walpole High Team hopes to raise the bar again by raising more than $600 again. Walking among survivors of the disease, and those who have been affected by the disease, was an amazing, inspirational experience that Walpole High School students will carry with them for the rest of their life.