ATHENS — A community effort to help two young Athens students who are battling cancer culminated with a check presentation at Alumni Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
The Athens and Canton school districts worked together over the last few months to raise money for Seeley Carlin and Ariah Cooke. The main event was the Gold Out Game between the schools’ football teams on Sept. 20.
The football game, which was held during Athens’ Homecoming weekend, drew thousands of fans — and all of the money went to the cause.
Athens Superintendent Craig Stage announced on Wednesday, Oct. 2 that with a penny war between the schools, individual and corporate donations, admission from the Gold Out Game, t-shirts, decals and raffles, the families of Seeley and Ariah will split $22,850.58.
“It’s remarkable. I think the important thing to know is that this community, the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania, when there’s a cause, they come together,” said Stage. “They are family. It doesn’t matter if they are by blood or not, they come together to support those in need. The two families and the two students of ours who are going to be recipients of this good will, couldn’t be more deserving.”
While Canton and Athens were the schools competing in the Gold Out Game, football teams from across the Northern Tier League wore helmet decals to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The total amount raised from the helmet decals alone was over $1,100.
The penny war between the schools raised a large amount of money for the cause. The Bradford County Dairy Princess and Promotion Service will provide ice cream to both school districts for their work with the penny war, according to Bradford County Dairy Princess McKenzie Slater who was on hand for the presentation.