Post image for Hillview School’s Relay for Life event raises $65,000 for American Cancer Society

Over 300 students raised $65,000 for the American Cancer Society as part of the 3rd Annual “Menlo Park Relay for Life – Hillview Edition” on Friday night, May 19. All funds raised go to the American Cancer Society to support research to find a cure for cancer and provide services — everything from wigs to wheelchairs — for people battling cancer.

More than 40 teams of students have worked over the last few months raising money through bake sales, walking door-to-door in their neighborhoods, contacting family near and far, reaching into their own piggy banks, and more.

At the event, the Hillview track was magically transformed (by volunteer elves!) into a peaceful purple and green neon haven and as kids began their journey and the sky turned dark, the lights continued to fluctuate as the participants wore team color-coded neon necklaces, headbands and bracelets.

Participants also drew an outline of their hand on a banner and wrote a pledge for how they would make healthy choices to prevent cancer

Black lights lit up tables and caught festive clothing as kids, parents and teachers walked or ran around the track all evening — way past most bedtimes!

By the end of the night, the track was outlined with luminaries that participants made complete with  personal messages highlighted on each bag.  Most of the kids collected a bead with each lap they took and looped it onto a piece of yarn and they had fun comparing their distances with one another.  The student who walked the farthest did 50 +/- laps!

You can click here if you would like to make a donation to add to Hillview’s funds raised for the American Cancer Society.

Ms. Batiste, who teaches 7th and 8th grade English at Hillview and is the staff sponsor of the Hillview student service team, said: “Relay for Life is such a wonderful event, and it warms my heart to see students’ generosity on full display. This event is especially important to me because I have lost several grandparents to cancer.”

“I like Relay for Life because we give back to the community and help those who can’t afford cancer treatment, said Henry Shane, an 8th grader on the Service Leadership Team at Hillview. “It could save someone’s life.”

Although the event was focused on Hillview students and was not open to the general public, one team of students from Menlo Atherton High School’s Leo Club, a charter of the Lion’s Club, came early to help set up and participated in the event. One of the Leo club’s founders, Elise Kratzer, was an active member of the Hillview Service Team and has continued to support the Hillview Relay for Life as she has continued on to high school.

A few days after Hillview’s Relay for Life event, one of Hillview’s former staff members, Ernie Imura, passed away from pancreatic cancer. Ernie, affectionately known as “Mr. I”, was a beloved physical education teacher who worked at Hillview between the years of 1987 and 2012. Aside from a short hiatus, Ernie spent 20 years working at Hillview. Staff members had raised money and walked the Relay for Life event in Ernie’s honor.

Relay for Life started in 1985 with one person, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt, in Tacoma, Washington, and now takes place in 27 countries. The Hillview Middle School event is consider a pre-relay as a lead up to the 22 hour Menlo Park Relay for Life from Saturday morning, August 12 at 11am through Sunday morning, August 13 at 9am at Burgess Park.

 If you would like to sign up to join the August Relay for Life in Menlo Park with a team from your company, neighborhood, or family, click here to join or contact our Menlo Park volunteer coordinator, Amy Boggs, at amy@grantsport.com. 

Gina Hart, Gina Parks, Lynn Auslander, Charea Batiste, Amy Boggs, and Elizabeth Ouren contributed to this article

Photos by Gina Hart and Elizabeth Ouren (photo of outlined hands)

{ Be the first to comment }

Cathy Bitler brings her background in science to making handcrafted soaps

Thumbnail image for Cathy Bitler brings her background in science to making handcrafted soaps

Most of Cathy Bitler’s professional career was spent in the lab. As a biochemist, she worked at companies involved in finding new drug therapies for stubborn-to-treat medical conditions. Today, her focus is on more immediate gratification through her handcrafted soaps, lotions, and scrubs made in her Menlo Park home. Her journey to soap maker started, somewhat […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park Kiwanis Club awards $55,000 in scholarships to Menlo-Atherton High School seniors

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park Kiwanis Club awards $55,000 in scholarships to Menlo-Atherton High School seniors

Eight outstanding Menlo-Atherton High School seniors received scholarships at the Kiwanis Club’s annual scholarship luncheon, Tuesday, May 23, at the Allied Arts Guild. This year’s scholarship awards totaled more than $55,000, up from $41,000 last year. More than $1.1 million has been awarded to local students during the lifetime of the Club’s scholarship program. “There are […]

Click to read more →

Free Jazzercise classes in Menlo Park for young women during 2017

Thumbnail image for Free Jazzercise classes in Menlo Park for young women during 2017

Young women ages 16 to 21 are invited to take exercise classes at Menlo Park Jazzercise at no charge for the rest of 2017. Dubbed “GirlForce,” the program aims to empower young women by giving them a place to get fit, learn healthy habits, and find a place they belong in their communities, free of charge. […]

Click to read more →

A second peek at Kathy Brenzel’s rose-filled Menlo Park backyard

Thumbnail image for A second peek at Kathy Brenzel’s rose-filled Menlo Park backyard

Editor’s note: Along with InMenlo contributing photographer Frances Freyberg, we visited Kathy Brenzel’s Menlo Park backyard, which is ablaze with roses. This is the second report about what we saw; part one is here. Kathy has a special place in her heart for the roses that Frances captured sitting in a little vase. “It’s an […]

Click to read more →

Help us solve this mystery about the sculpture horse at former Sunset headquarters

Thumbnail image for Help us solve this mystery about the sculpture horse at former Sunset headquarters

Update: Wouldn’t you know that this mystery was solved, at least in part, just 30 minutes after this was posted. We heard from InMenlo copy editor Pat Guyer, who should know about sculptors given that she’s married to sculptor Terry Guyer. Pat emailed: “That horse is by Deborah Butterfield. She has one at the Cantor. She is […]

Click to read more →

Two Menlo-Atherton High School students are “climate heroes”

Thumbnail image for Two Menlo-Atherton High School students are “climate heroes”

Emails Diane Bailey of Menlo Spark: “Two students at Menlo-Atherton High School, Tyler Lewis (pictured) and Henry Marks, have shown how youth can lead the way to a more sustainable future, winning the Menlo Green Challenge this Spring. We are delighted to award them Eco Reco electric scooters for their climate action efforts! The Menlo […]

Click to read more →

Exploring San Francisco’s Embarcadero with my iPhone

Thumbnail image for Exploring San Francisco’s Embarcadero with my iPhone

I often meet up with my friend Doug Kaye for a couple of hours of street photography in San Francisco. We often meet  at San Francisco’s Ferry Building and head out from there along San Francisco’s Embarcadero towards Pier 24 (which is directly under where the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge heads out over the Bay). […]

Click to read more →

Kathy Brenzel finds her Menlo Park garden ablaze with roses this spring

Thumbnail image for Kathy Brenzel finds her Menlo Park garden ablaze with roses this spring

That almost 50 roses populate Kathy Brenzel’s Menlo Park backyard may not be surprising given that she is the former Garden Editor of Sunset, who retired last year. But the roses go further back than her career at the magazine. “It all started with the Cl.Cécile Brünner,” she said about the roses surrounding her while being photographed by InMenlo contributing […]

Click to read more →

Festival of Music takes place on May 21 at Trinity Church in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Festival of Music takes place on May 21 at Trinity Church in Menlo Park

On Sunday, May 21, at 10:00 am, Trinity Church in Menlo Park is hosting a Festival of Music, which is free and open to the public. “We offer the Festival of Music to celebrate our many musicians and singers at Trinity, and the wide variety of sacred music that is offered, from classical, traditional choral pieces […]

Click to read more →

Local Menlo Park resident hosts presentation on Hope for Kenya at Café Zoë

Thumbnail image for Local Menlo Park resident hosts presentation on Hope for Kenya at Café Zoë

Local Menlo Park resident and Alto International School teacher, Ina Berenger, will host Peter Midodo from Kenya, head of Joyschool, and Derek Bevan, founder of Hope for Kenya for a presentation on their charitable work with Hope for Kenya. According to the founders, Hope for Kenya’s mission is “to construct high quality, self sustaining, primary […]

Click to read more →