East, West Go Orange and Gold for Dragonfly

East, West Go Orange and Gold for Dragonfly, Raise More Than $10K
Posted on 02/20/2019
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collage of students at dragonfly fundraiserThe student sections at two crosstown basketball games on Jan. 25 may have been painted two different colors, but their mission was the same.

“Go Gold for Dragonfly” at Lakota West and “Orange Out” at Lakota East were community-wide shows of support for the Cincinnati division of the Dragonfly Foundation, an organization that helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage and joy. When all was said and done, both high schools have raised more than $10,000, and counting, for the local cause.

“I personally know a Dragonfly family, so I’ve seen first-hand the work that they’re doing,” said Lakota West senior Megan Shaffer, who led the second annual event alongside three other students, Tony Amsbaugh, Faith Martin and Alex Meyers. “I really wanted to help in my own way because I really admire what they’re doing.”

At West, that work involved a week-long campaign to sell custom “Be a Hero” t-shirts - all leading up to a home basketball game packed with more fundraising and awareness-building activities. Athletic Director Scott Kaufman made good on a promise to shave his head during halftime, while West teacher Ian Avery received the most student donations in his name, doubling as nominations to shave his beard at the game.

That spirited display was followed by an emotional address from two individuals served by Dragonfly. “There was a hush that fell over the crowd,” said Shaffer, noting that the fundraiser was just as much about raising money as it was about creating awareness and building empathy.

At East, the fundraiser spanned two months, going beyond the fourth annual “Orange Out”. The group, led by East senior Lauren Rader, also hosted a hair donation event in December, where several students showed their support by shaving or cutting their hair and then donating it. The first wave of East’s fundraiser was complete with a split-the-pot and raffle baskets.

To gain even more attention and support from the student body, Rader also helped organize “Take a Pie for Dragonfly.” Seven East teachers were nominated to take a pie to the face during the school’s pep rally leading up to the Jan. 25 game.

“Jessica Elam was a student at LEHS a few years ago who passed away after a long battle with cancer,” said East teacher and Dragonfly staff ambassador Amanda DiVito. “By helping the Dragonfly Foundation, I am honoring Jessica’s memory as well as helping current families who need support.”

“The students, staff and athletic department and both Lakota East and Lakota West have been phenomenal in their dedication and support of Dragonfly,” said Maureen Scahill, student outreach program manager for Dragonfly. “We are grateful for all of the support that the Lakota schools and community have shown our families over the years!”