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Howard's cancer campaign

HOWARD -- Cancer has affected many lives in the community of Howard, and the high school student council is stepping up to fight the disease in a big way.

From left to right: Mia Glanzer, a freshman at Howard High School, and Presley Claussen, a junior Howard High School student council member and football cheerleader, assists Lori Kollmann and her daughter Katie during the homecoming football game on Friday against Irene-Wakonda. Kollmann purchased a $10 t-shirt to help support the Step Up 2 Cancer fundraising campaign founded by the Howard High School student council. (Sam Fosness / Republic)
From left to right: Mia Glanzer, a freshman at Howard High School, and Presley Claussen, a junior Howard High School student council member and football cheerleader, assists Lori Kollmann and her daughter Katie during the homecoming football game on Friday against Irene-Wakonda. Kollmann purchased a $10 t-shirt to help support the Step Up 2 Cancer fundraising campaign founded by the Howard High School student council. (Sam Fosness / Republic)

HOWARD - Cancer has affected many lives in the community of Howard, and the high school student council is stepping up to fight the disease in a big way.

Tucked next to the ticket booth at the Howard High School homecoming football game on Friday were two tables full of T-shirts being sold by the students who coordinated the fundraising campaign known as Step Up 2 Cancer. The money made from the $10 T-shirts goes to Miner County cancer patients going through cancer treatment.

"The amount of support from the community has been nothing shy of amazing," said Lyndi Hudson, a Howard School District art teacher and student council adviser.

When Horizon Health Foundation Director Tracy Pardy pitched Hudson an idea last year, Hudson presented the proposal to her student council. In two weeks, the student council had designed a strategic fundraising campaign to help their fellow community members battling cancer.

"For being as small of a community that we are in Howard, there is a high number of people affected by cancer," Hudson said as she tidied up the display of T-shirts.

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Kenedy Koepsell, a Howard High School sophomore and student council member, said the community support was so great last year that the funds raised were higher than the student council expected.

"So many people have came out and supported us with this campaign, and last year was a huge success," Koepsell said as she painted faces of Howard football fans during the homecoming game against Irene-Wakonda on Friday.

Friday's game marked the first home sporting event during which the student council will be selling T-shirts for $10. The game kicked off the second year of the Step Up 2 Cancer fundraising campaign, which will last until the final home sporting event in October.

The funds raised will be given to Horizon Health Care, Inc., which is the primary health care provider for Miner County residents.

"Horizon Health Care donates the money we raise to help cancer patients with gas money to go to and from treatment, along with helping patients get groceries," Koepsell said.

While the fundraising campaign was intended to get all of the students involved, it blossomed into a whole community joining together to help their own battle cancer.

The students' mission to help cancer patients caught the attention of Rivers Edge Bank, a local banking company that teamed up with the student council's fundraiser last year to match the total funds raised at the end of the campaign.

The total amount of money raised last year was a little over $7,000, which included the match from Rivers Edge Bank, according to Hudson.

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Hudson said Rivers Edge Bank is continuing to match the money made from the students' fundraising campaign this year, and she has been grateful for the support.

"We have done the Dig Pink cancer awareness event at our volleyball games in the past, but we wanted to do something that the whole school can get behind," Hudson said. "We have gained support from other school groups like the National Honor Society, so this has been a team effort, to say the least."

While other student groups have been getting involved, the student council has been doing the majority of the legwork.

"We helped design the T-shirts, and we have been so amazed at the support from the community during our fundraising campaign," said Presley Claussen, a junior at Howard High School and student council member.

Be it through setting up tables and selling T-shirts at each home game to getting more sponsors within the community, it's safe to safe to say Howard High School has stepped up to cancer.

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