Stillwater High School students recently presented the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation with a check for $11,890.52 to support cancer research.
Since designating OMRF as its charitable beneficiary in 2011, the high school’s annual “Pink Out” activities have raised $89,334 to support cancer research at the Oklahoma City nonprofit biomedical research institute. But the usual week of special events didn’t take place in 2020 due to Covid-19.
“This year we ended on plan Z. It was a crazy year that proved to be a lesson in flexibility and patience,” said district sponsor Jody Webber. “But it also displayed an impressive show of perseverance and creativity from our students.”
Instead of traditional in-person fundraising activities, students worked with local businesses to launch online sales for themed t-shirts, coordinated curbside pickup donations for restaurant patrons, and made direct appeals to Stillwater-area residents.
Even in the face of the pandemic, students and teachers were determined to continue the nine-year tradition. “Cancer didn’t stop, and we won’t either,” said Webber.
Cancer research at OMRF has led to an experimental drug undergoing clinical trials at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center to treat patients with glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer. The drug has also shown promise in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a fast-growing pediatric cancer that starts in the brain stem.
“The creativity these students showed in fundraising efforts during such a challenging year was remarkable,” said OMRF stewardship coordinator Zebba Mortazavi. “OMRF is committed to cancer research, and this gift will go directly to helping our scientists continue to make progress in the fight against this devasting disease.”