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St. Lawrence Central School teacher planning juvenile diabetes fundraiser

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BRASHER FALLS – A St. Lawrence Central School teacher plans to hold a walk this year that will serve a number of purposes.

Aimee Perry said the Kids Walk To Cure Diabetes would help raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, offer an opportunity for students to exercise and remember a fellow teacher and two St. Lawrence Central School students who were killed in a car accident last year in Antwerp.

Janet P. Dana, her daughter-in-law Laurie A. Dana, and her granddaughters Lauryn E. and Caitlyn O. Dana, were killed in a July 2012 accident near Antwerp.

Laurie Dana, 42, was a special education/speech teacher at St. Lawrence Central Elementary School. Caitlyn, 14, was to enter the ninth grade, and Lauryn, 11, was a rising sixth grader. Janet Dana, 69, was a former teacher at Brushton-Moira Central School. Also killed was Caitlyn’s friend, Shannon Planty, 14, a student in the Brushton-Moira Central School District.

Lauryn had been diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 4 and battled the disease throughout her life, making the upcoming fundraiser even more special, according to Ms. Perry, who said she had been looking for a way to remember the family.

“A lot of healing has been going on this past year,” she said.

In researching ways to overcome the grief, Ms. Perry said she came across the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Kids Walk To Cure Diabetes.

“It’s something I think the whole district could do. I hope to do it in the fall as another step in the district’s healing process. It’s a chance for the kids to help other kids. Forty kids are diagnosed every day. That’s a little scary for me,” she said, calling it a “positive way to educate students on what diabetes is and to raise funds.”

Ms. Perry said she has been in contact with a representative from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and they have a person who would come in and do an assembly for the students.

“I’m hoping to do it Sept. 23 for the elementary and middle school and possibly high school,” she said.

The effort would start out with the assembly that would talk about diabetes and the benefits of healthy eating and exercise.

“It would also pump them up for fundraising,” Ms. Perry said.

Students would go home with a fundraising packet and can also raise money online by creating a personal website, she said. It would be voluntary, she noted.

Donations would be collected after two weeks, and the students would then have an Oct. 4 “celebratory walk on the school campus,” Ms. Perry said.

That would allow them to celebrate the past two weeks of fundraising, get all the students together in one location, get the kids outside exercising and remember their teacher and fellow students whose lives had been lost in the accident.

Ten percent of the money raised would come back to the school, she said, and the intent is to donate it to the Dana Memorial Fund.

“I just think this is a great way for kids, even though they’re only 5 years old, to see that they can make a difference,” she said.

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