School events raise $8.5K for leukemia victim

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Vicki Ritchey, Greencastle-Antrim School District athletic director, presents a donation of over $8,500 to Emma Strait's stepfather, Jay True, and stepsisters, Ashley and Kristen True. The money was raised in less than three weeks after the Greencastle-Antrim Middle School student was diagnosed with leukemia.

Family members of a Greencastle-Antrim Middle School student diagnosed with leukemia accepted a donation of $8,542.88 during halftime of the high school boys' basketball game Feb. 8.

The money was raised through activities in the district in less than three weeks following Emma Strait's diagnosis Jan. 17 at Hershey Medical Center.

"Emma began her battle against this disease immediately," according to Vicki Ritchey, Greencastle-Antrim School District athletic director. "She will never be alone in the battle."

Emma is a member of the seventh-grade basketball team, and a future member of the softball team.

On Jan. 18, fundraising efforts, to help with travel and medical costs, began within the athletic department. There have been canisters for donations, T-shirt sales, anonymous gifts, donations from businesses and booster clubs.

The fundraising has moved beyond the the athletic department to the Greencastle-Antrim community and even some athletic rivals. James Buchanan basketball, Chambersburg’s basketball program, Waynesboro’s cheerleaders and others have made donations.

"We know it is never the news that anyone wants to hear about your child or a child that you know, but through this news communities have come together and shown such amazing kindness and generosity," Ritchey said. "It is through the time, efforts, and generosity of all these entities that on Thursday, Feb. 8, we presented Emma and her family with these donations in the amount of $8,542.88. Fundraising efforts will continue throughout Emma’s fight against this disease.  We will be with her on her journey! "