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Students make blankets, cards for cancer patients

By Heather Graves

GREEN BAY – West High School students learned a lesson in giving this holiday season, with dozens coming together to spread warmth and holiday cheer to those spending the season in the hospital.

In partnership with the school’s StingCancer club, around 40 students came together to make 30 tie blankets, 115 holiday cards, and collected two bags of knitted hats and scarves, along with three boxes of arts and craft supplies to donate to the Pediatric Oncology Center at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.

“The supplies are not just limited to kids with cancer, but any patient in need of some comfort during a stressful time,” said Elona Winslow, StingCancer advisor at West High School.

Winslow said the StingCancer club has held an art supply drive for several years, but made the decision three years ago to include tie blankets.

“The idea was to gather arts and crafts, books, stuffed animals and anything else we could think of to comfort kids who are going through treatment at St Vincent hospital,” she said. “Three years ago we expanded it to include tie blankets. So when we hold our event, not only do students make cards, but they also tie blankets with StingCancer supplying the materials.”

Winslow said the StingCancer club is a little unconventional in terms of membership because it has no actual members.

But, she said, though it may not have any registered club members, when an event is held, students are always there supporting the cause.

“For the last three years I have actually had no members,” Winslow said. “It’s hard to explain, but the kids don’t seem to want to sign up to be an actual member of the club. Yet when we have events, they come out in droves to help the club out, and they accomplish a lot.”

She said during the club’s pink-out week earlier this year, 92 shirts were sold to not only support breast cancer awareness, but to help raise money to fund the blanket and art drive.

“When I hold an event, they all come together as one big Green Bay West High School group,” Winslow said. “This is why I love my job and this school. West truly is best.”

The yearly drive has also caught the eye of those outside the school.

Winslow said she has received interest from West High School alumni about participating in the event in future years.

“The nice part about the social media post the school made is that I’ve been contacted by alumni, so next year we’re hoping to expand this at a much larger scale, and have not only students, but alumni participate,” she said.

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