Teens don’t need adults… to raise funds for cancer center

Photo submitted to Times Observer The Warren Area High School (WAHS) Student Council teamed up with WAHS National Honor Society and the WAHS Dragon Cheerleaders to sell “Pink Out” t-shirts. With the sale of shirts and donations given at the Oct. 26 Warren football game, the groups raised over $1,000 for the Warren Cancer Care Center. From left are Becky Linder, Nancy Scott, Leslie McGary, Ceci Citro (Student Council VP), Stephen Ashbaugh (Student Council President), Kim Mineweaser, and Jeanne Pearson.

When there is a need, our community comes together.

That has been proven time after time, with fundraiser after fundraiser, event after event.

What makes this situation just a little more unique: This fundraiser was planned out and accomplished entirely by teenagers.

And, in a day (at a single football game), a few student organizations together raised over $1,000 for the Warren Cancer Care Center.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was this fundraiser.

When you see your son or daughter sitting on the couch with his or her head buried in their cell phone, ignoring you, it’s not always a bad thing.

“This year, I was added into a group chat of boys who run the Flannel Panel (Austyn Cummings, Lance Baldensperger, Jackson Knupp, and Nate Eadie) because Maribeth Miller passed me the Flannel Panel Instagram account,” said Ceci Citro, Warren Student Council Vice President. “When we were picking the themes (for home football games) and decided to have a pink out in October, I thought it would be a great opportunity for our student body to give back to the community. I’m the V.P. of Student Council and the president of National Honor Society. Both of these groups are always looking for service projects, so I thought it would be a good idea to have these clubs head the fundraiser.”

Tiffany Mandeville, Student Council advisor, said the only adult involvement came when Ceci asked permission to turn the football game’s pink out theme into a fundraiser for the Cancer Care Center.

“She contacted Icyy Ink (screen printing) and they made the shirts,” said Mandeville. “After the cheerleaders found out about it, they contacted me and got on board and Ceci took it to National Honor Society, too. This was Ceci’s idea and she sold it to everyone else.”

Icyy Ink owner Michelle Munksgard helped design the t-shirt logo — “Tackle for a Cure.”

“Stephen Ashbaugh — the president of our student council and also an officer for National Honor Society — and I distributed the forms out to every student in these two clubs and encouraged them to sell as many as they can,” said Citro. “Many teachers and students bought these shirts to wear to the game. We also collected donations on the night of the game. The cheer team sold pink pom poms and face stickers and gave us the proceeds.

“Laura Simanowski is a member of student council as well as the cheer team so she helped to coordinate efforts with us,” added Citro. “Michelle Munksgard has a very efficient t-shirt company. I went to her and explained my idea. She created order forms. Every student in these clubs sold a few shirts. Jillian Funari collected the forms and brought them to Icyy Ink. Michelle sorted the bags by seller. She was awesome. We actually lost two forms and she ended up donating the 11 shirts so we didn’t lose out on profit! I delivered the bags to the high school. Each seller picked up their bags and distributed the shirts they sold. At the game, we set donation cups at various places such as the concession stand and ticket booth. And Jillian Funari, Emma Darling and I also went around at halftime and asked for donations.

“The Flannel Panel has a pink out nearly every year to raise awareness, but we have never done any sort of fundraiser,” said Citro. “It honestly went better than I imagined. Being a part of two clubs like student council and NHS allows you to work with other really motivated students. Their cooperation made the process much easier. Another bonus was how well the student body responded. The Flannel Panel alone is a pretty decent-sized-group of people. With all of those students buying shirts, along with others in the community, we ended up making a pretty decent profit. The amount of participation goes to show you how everyone’s lives have been affected by cancer in some shape or form. I thought it was really nice how well the student body came together to raise money for this cause.”

“The kids in our community are fabulous and this is just another example,” said Mandeville. “This had no adult direction — they ran with it.”

“I really enjoy community service as a whole,” said Citro. “I spend a lot of my time dressing up as a princess/superhero for the Enchanted Fairytale Troupe. We go to parties, parades, fundraisers, etc. I also attended a mission trip called the Pittsburgh Project during one of my summers. I think that giving back to your community is equally as important as it is rewarding. To be able to support a local business like Icyy Ink and also donate the proceeds to our local cancer center was very fulfilling. It is always better to give than to receive.”