Stillwater High School students presented a donation of $4,000 to officials from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation on Tuesday. The gift, which students raised through a variety of activities, will go to cancer research at the Oklahoma City foundation.
“This is a wonderful donation, and it really shows the commitment that Stillwater students have to helping others,” said Allison Parker, who accepted the check on behalf of OMRF at a presentation ceremony at the high school.
“So many students and family members helped out, and I was blown away by how kind and generous fans were on both sides at the football game,” said fine arts teacher Shandi Treat, who organized the fundraiser. “Oklahomans came together as a community for a great cause.”
The district condensed its fundraising efforts into one whirlwind day this fall. Students in the high school’s National Honor Society chapter led the charge with a “Pink Out” for breast cancer research. They also sold t-shirts, passed collection buckets at the Stillwater vs. Lawton football game and promoted a district-wide Hat Day, where students wore hats to school for a $1 donation to cancer research.
Since naming OMRF as its charitable beneficiary in 2011, Stillwater has raised more than $33,000 for research at the nonprofit biomedical research institute.
“We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Stillwater High’s NHS group and what they have done for us over the past few years,” said Parker. “OMRF has a strong track record in cancer research, and this gift will help us stay at the forefront in understanding the causes of cancer and how to fight it.”
Research at the foundation has led to the development of an experimental treatment for a deadly form of brain cancer. That drug is currently being tested in Oklahoma cancer patients. OMRF scientists are also studying ways to reprogram cancer cells so that they can return to healthy functioning in the body.
“OMRF is a tremendous organization, and knowing that all of our money goes to research makes it even more meaningful to us,” said Treat. “Our gifts may help fund a major breakthrough, and that’s very exciting. It’s nice to know we played a role in these efforts in some way.”