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Chick of the Month


Inspirational story of "Standout" Teens
by Jana Rosenblatt

High school students are expected to get good grades and jump through hoops to build a resume of extra-curricular activities and community service in order to stand out amongst the competition for colleges and jobs. This is the inspirational story of two suchMegan Reeves and Courtney Witherspoon standout teens - Megan Reeves and Courtney Witherspoon.

Last year, as a junior, Megan Reeves was searching the Internet for a volunteer opportunity she could relate to. As the daughter of a cancer survivor, she clicked on the American Cancer Society site. She found a link on the homepage titled: More Ways to Help; which led her to Karen Rubinstein, a staff member at her local ACS office. 

With the 2003 Relay for Life event coming up Karen enticed Megan to become active, "I embraced this because it [cancer] has touched my life. It [cancer] seemed so foreign to me, until I heard my mom had it. Then the world came crashing down on us".

The Relay For Life events "celebrate survivorship and raise money for the fight against cancer." They are run all over the country through local ACS offices and they inspire awesome participation from community members. As a survivor myself, I was invited to participate. After the opening ceremony with speakers and acknowledgements, the "survivors" walk the first lap of the relay to cheers of love and support from the crowd. From that point on for the next 24 hours, one member of each of the 20 or so participating teams would be walking the track.

A standard team ranges from 10 to 15 participants. They name themselves after people like "Team Radiant Chick and her daughtersIrene" or themes like the "Robotics team," who created crazy vehicles for the event. They wear funny costumes or simply come as they are with good friends and good intentions. Megan explains that "to form a team you have to fundraise, it doesn't have to come from your own pocket." Registration is $150 per team, with a goal of $100 per team member, but many teams raise much more. This year "Team Irene" raised approximately $28,000 in honor of a loved one. The total for the entire event is reported to be $138,000.

For this year's event, Megan and her friend Courtney, whose grandfather had colon cancer, were the Team Recruitment Chairpersons. "We were responsible for signing up and organizing the relay teams. It was especially challenging because there is so much competition for limited fundraising dollars." I imagine it is also hard to get people to give up 24 hours, walk in a circle all-night and camp out on the inside track! "It's symbolic, cancer survivors don't get a break so [for 24 hours] neither do we."

Their team consisted of seven high school friends. "Honestly, I was really worried about [raising] the money." Says Courtney, "but today when we came together, we are really having fun. " They didn't have a fancy name or a funny theme or fancy tents. They were there, as Megan says, to "raise the money and get the word out."

Megan and Courtney's Team

Both of the chicks graduated from High School this year and, in the fall, Courtney is headed for Film School at Loyola Marymount and Megan will attend Occidental College for a degree in Biochemistry with the long-term goal of Med School.


Click here for more event pictures






Past Chicks 
of the Month:

ROBIN FARBER Little Chicks Give 'Locks of Love'

MARLENE MARKS Marlene's Story

33 Years Later - She Never Looked Back!


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