By Linda Collins
Fairborn Daily Herald
ENON — The Greenon Local School District went green throughtout the past week in support of a 10-year-old Champaign County boy, who is battling a rare form of brain cancer.
Students and staff sported green cancer awareness ribbons and “Team Blake” spirit shirts as they wrapped up a week of fundraisers for Blake Barr who is the son of Enon Primary School preschool teacher, Amberly Barr. Green is the awareness color for Blake’s type of cancer. The courageous Graham Middle School fifth grader was recently diagnosed with Stage III Anaplastic Astrocytoma.
The color green has become synonymous with Team Blake throughout both Graham and Greenon Local School Districts. The two schools districts have come together in support of the Barr family by observing spirit weeks and holding several fundraisers.
On Wednesday evening, Greenon Local held an ice cream social at Greenon Junior/Senior High School and several bake sales throughout the week in commemoration of Team Blake Spirit Week, according to school district officials.
On Monday, the students took part in “Pajama Day” to help Blake put cancer to bed. Then on Tuesday, the students sported zany hats of all shapes, sizes, and colors for “Crazy Hat Day” as Blake puts a cap on cancer. The students rallied again on Wednesday in full support of Team Blake as they celebrated “Your Favorite Team Day.” As the four-day school week wrapped up on Thursday, the students proudly declared Blake their special hero during a “Superhero Day” tribute.
Last week, Barr’s colleagues and students at Enon Primary School jumped into action, looking for ways to raise money to help offset travel costs for the family as Blake undergoes six weeks of proton therapy treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The students decided to perform chores at home and with the generous support of their parents, raising $500 in two days.
Teachers, staff, and students at the school surprised Barr Sept. 15 by wearing green to show their support for the preschool teacher and to let her know that her Greenon family would miss her during the several weeks she is away in Philadelphia with her son.
Blake also received a tremendous sendoff on Thursday, Sept. 29. His classmates, teachers, and staff at Graham Middle School, as well as members of the community and local law enforcement, held a “clap out” to cheer the fifth grader on as he begins his journey in his battle against cancer. His parents and sister accompanied the fifth grader as he received a large applause from classmates and teachers as he marched through the halls of the middle school. At that time, school district officials and the Champaign County YMCA presented the Barr family with several gifts cards for their travels, as well as donated monies for Blake’s treatment.
All three schools in the Greenon Local School District are currently accepting donations for the Barr family. Anyone wanting to make a donation can simply drop it off at any of the schools’ offices. The monies raised by the two school districts were presented to the family Friday evening when the Greenon Knights football team faces off with the Graham Falcons at Graham High School.
Currently, a quote by Helen Keller graces the Enon Primary K-1 Club Facebook page that reads, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
For more information, call the Greenon Local Schools office at 937-864-1202.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter at Greene County News.