ONE CANDLE AT A TIME
Q: What can a museum curator and a girl in a wheelchair do with a bunch of teenagers?
A: Save the world, one candle at a time.
It was here. It was huge. It got rained on. It was the Relay for Life in Clinton County. The LS Kids were there in all our volunteer glory. And we did it again.
On May 17, 2008, the LS Kids went to Riverview Park and spent the entire day playing cashier and assembling luminarias. Twelve hours. Lou, Tiffany Allen, Kristen Withers, Meghan Rockey, Debbie Benfield, Shelby Sander, Shantae Hockenberry, and Robin Prescott attended this year.
And then, when a thunderstorm cropped up right in the middle of it all and ruined the luminarias they'd spent all day assembling, the Kids headed out with fresh bags and lighters and re-assembled every single one.
"It started to rain, but we didn't give up hope," said Shantae. "We kept going, lighting every one."
"The one thing that always stands out is that everyone has a story," observed Stormie Mauck, new recruit. "Everyone has a different reason for relaying. Whether it's a person the know who has been affected by cancer, or just feel the need to help out."
-Tiffany Allen, Assistant
-Robin Prescott, Staff
-Shantae Hockenberry, Staff
-Stormie Mauck, Trisha McCloskey, Megan Martin, Recruits
LIVING HISTORY DAY
At The Museum
On May 24, students from both Central Mountain Middle and High schools participated in this year's Living History Day at the Heisey Museum. There were displays at the old Lock Haven High School building to teach fifth graders from the local elementary schools about the Civil War. There were displays about fashion, animals, weapons, health care, food, and other topics from the era.
Along with the displays at the school, there wer students at the museum to act as tour guides for the different rooms. LS Kids Rachel Mazza and Ericka Conklin were there to explain the dig out back, and the significance of the remains of the fort and artifacts that had been found there.
At The School
Since the Heisey IS a historic museum, and Lou is the curator, it would only be appropriate for some of the LS Kids to help out with Living History Day! ON May 24, Katie Bottorf and Kristen Withers gave their help at the old Lock Haven High School. They helped keep kids at their projects and get the visitors around the gym in an orderly fashion. It was an easy job, but certainly helpful.
-Ericka Conklin, Staff
-Kristen Withers, Staff
On May 3, a celebration was held in Lock Haven to commemorate the Hometown Heroes, the military veterans. Lou attended as a representative of the Historical Society, and Ericka Conklin and Robin Prescott were also there.
The ceremony was held in Triangle Park, and involved speeches from the planners, and a talk from a Gold Star Mother. Then the banners were unveiled, each with a photo of a veteran pictured on it. The banners ran up Main Street and all connecting streets, and the dike.
Though LS Kid Biz Albright was not pictured on a banner, she is respected by the Kids, who take pride in her. Biz, who left for basic training in 2005, is in the Army and slated to leave for Iraq in September.
RHYME AND REASON
You can't hide the emotions of heart that's made of glass.
Everyone can see the mistakes the breaks and cracks.
You can't hide the sadness of heart that's see through.
I can't hide anything from you.
You can't fake a smile of mask painted here
I can't hide the waterfall of tears
I can't hide the hurt I feel
It's just my pain, my own to deal.
I can't stop my breathing,
I can't stop this screaming.
I can't get away from this feeling.
Am I just running or am I just dreaming.
When will time cease?
When will it ease?
Time is slowly killing me.
I'm having trouble finding me.
Sinking slowly still with time.
I can't fix this heart of mine.
I watch it break and fall behind.
I'll just leave this heart of mine.
The JJJ Is:
Assistant Leaders: Tiffany Allen, Debbie Benfield
LS Core Team: Cris Schedin, Meghan Rockey
President: Biz Albright
Vice-President: Rachel Mazza
Secretary: Ericka Conklin
Quarter master: Kristen Withers
Staff: Shelby Sander, MarKel Wheeland, Lacey Richner, Katie Bottorf, Bobby Smith, Taylor Wheeland, Robin Prescott, Ida Yost
Distant Correspondents: Shadow Snow, MacKenzie Brundage, Regina Spence, Chelsey Crouchley, Goth Lizz
Foreign Bureau: Janice Marco
It's more tradition than anything else.
No, that's not true. Tradition is something you do, the same way, year after year, without really thinking about why.
We know why. We think about it. Most of us have been touched by cancer at some point. Friends, relatives, people we love. My mother, five years ago. We're always there at the Relay, and we have a very strong sense of why it is.
We've developed our little rituals, however. Things that, no matter how busy we get, we do the same. Always the tent, with our food in it---Always peanut butter and jelly. The Kids always walk with me, when I go to find my mother's candle. And at the end of the night, before we go home, we always sit down someplace and write our articles. All of us, together.
And I always give my Kids a little speech, telling them how proud I am of them.
They're there to help. Every time. Through the rain, the cold, the wind. No matter how bad it gets, they're there. They're there to make a stand against cancer, and do something good. They're not necessarily there to give me support---At least, it's not the primary reason---But it works that way anyway, and I'm always grateful.
It hurts. It always has, and it most likely always will. When I find my mother's candle---And this year, my father's, as he struggles through his cancer---It hurts. But with the Kids there with me, it hurts less.
Shantae, this year, referred to me as her big brother. Which makes me smile, and helped. And as I gave them the annual speech, I had a thought I've had before.
Maybe everything I've gone through is only the price I have to pay for feeling like this.
Maybe it is.
Maybe all the pain is just the cost of feeling this proud of my Kids.
And if so....It's worth it.