Starkweather Elementary School Donates to Unite for Her

Starkweather Elementary School Donates to Unite for Her

Starkweather Elementary School dontes to Unite for Her

Starkweather Students Donate to Unite for Her


Students at Starkweather Elementary School recently did their part to help women in the local community that are battling breast cancer.  5th-graders Ella Gentile, Elliot Smith, and Kate Van Riet, spearheaded the Students Unite for Her effort. Together with their fellow students, they raised over $650 for Unite for Her. The girls asked students to donate spare change, and each class that had a 100 percent participation rate was given the opportunity to play gaga ball, a game similar to dodgeball, with school principal, John Meanix. Every class in the school collected money.

"It's great that all of the kids donated," said Kate Van Riet. "They wanted to play gaga ball with Mr. Meanix. I'm not sure all of them realized what they did, but they did a really great thing!"

"A lot of women have breast cancer, so the more money we donate, the closer we are to finding a cure," said Elliot Smith.

Unite for Her special events manager Cameron Cotrufello said the Students Unite for Her program has been very successful and continues to grow. "Starkweather is one of 64 schools that raises money for our organization. We're honored to be a part of their school."

Unite for Her rewards schools for their efforts. "At the end of the year, we give a grant to any school that raised over $1,000," added Cotrufello. "That grant goes to a staff member or student with an immediate family member affected by breast cancer so the kids can feel the work they did impact their community."

"It's a really bad illness," added Ella Gentile. "Finding a cure would change everything for women who have it. It would be amazing."

Unite for Her, which is based in West Chester, is a grassroots effort that began in 2009. The organization helps bridge the gap between the medical and wellness community by giving women access to therapies that they would typically pay out of pocket for such as acupuncture, yoga, massage therapy, nutrition talks, and counseling sessions.

Sue Weldon founded the organization after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and started researching information on therapies that would complement the medical treatments she was receiving. Unite for Her has grown from helping 24 women through one hospital affiliation to helping nearly 1200 women and partnering with a total of 36 cancer centers and hospitals. 

Unite for Her gives women access to wellness therapies by giving them a $2,000 passport to spend on such therapies. Every recipient has a full year to utilize the passport.

"They get access to these treatments that help with their side effects and symptoms without added medication and prescription drugs," said Weldon.

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Starkweather Elementary School Donates to Unite for Her

Unite for Her founder Sue Weldon receives a "big check" from fundraiser organizers Elliot Smith, Kate Van Riet, and Ella Gentile