Student project takes on cancerKiley D’Auria wasn’t sure what she would do for her senior project. That was before the Superior High School senior came in contact with Beth Paquette, who spent three of the last four years organizing the annual Relay Recess — a mini Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society — at D’Auria’s former elementary school, Bryant.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Kiley D’Auria wasn’t sure what she would do for her senior project.
That was before the Superior High School senior came in contact with Beth Paquette, who spent three of the last four years organizing the annual Relay Recess — a mini Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society — at D’Auria’s former elementary school, Bryant.
“I really didn’t have an idea what I was going to do,” D’Auria said. “My little brothers play sports with Beth’s sons, so my mom came home and Beth told her she would be willing to work with me on the Relay Recess.”
Now, D’Auria, with Paquette’s help, is taking on the task for her senior project. And her goal is to take the event originally created to give elementary school children a chance to raise money for the fight against cancer to the community.
This year’s Relay Recess runs 3:30-5:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Bryant Elementary School.
D’Auria said she really wanted to do something with Bryant because it’s her former school, and because like many who get involved in the Relay for Life, her life has been touched by cancer.
D’Auria said she was really close to her grandmother, diagnosed with breast cancer two or three times. She died about six years ago. D’Auria said her grandmother died of injuries sustained in a fall as she returned home from a doctor’s appointment.
Paquette started coordinating the event as a school assistant at Bryand after getting involved in the annual Relay for Life; her life was touched by cancer when two of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer.
“She’s really running with it,” Paquette said of D’Auria’s efforts this year. “It’s pretty good.”
In addition to taking on the planning for the student effort at Bryant, she arrange this year’s guest speaker, Superintendent Janna Stevens, who also battled breast cancer.
“I’ve been earning money and raising money for the cancer society,” D’Auria said. I’ve distributed buckets around town collected them every Tuesday and Thursday. I just had a rummage sale … and I raised over $500, which is also going to go to the cancer society.”
People can contribute to D’Auria’s cause by going to — at Bob’s South Tower Auto Repair, ICO Spur in South Superior, and AJ’s Tanning in Superior, or by attending the relay.
Paquette said with plans to hold the relay after school, it creates an opportunity to open it up to the community.
“I’m thinking we’re going to get a lot of traffic because it’s conferences that day too,” Paquette said.
The event includes entertainment by Sounds Unlimited. Owner Cory Bonneville, whose children attend Bryant, is donating his time, Paquette said. There will be an obstacle course designed to promote exercise and the Food Service Marketplace in the mall is selling food at the event with a portion of the proceeds going to American Cancer Society, she said.
For Stevens, it’s the message students like D’Auria send to other students that make senior projects work.
And it’s a message she hopes to share with the community when she addresses them Oct. 18.
“I think just giving kids the general awareness that there are people that have some pretty bad things happen, but if you persevere, be strong and move through things, it surprising how much courage you can generate when you have to figure it out,” Stevens said. “There’s some bad things that happen to us. We have to be strong, courageous and find a way to get through it.”