By Catherine Lemel
The Brevard Middle School gym was standing room only as people flooded in to help support eighth grader Ashley Shaw, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. With highlights such as a teachers vs students basketball game and reading of words that describe Shaw, the event was a great success, raising $7,000.
April Nelson, Communication Skills teacher at Brevard Middle School and main coordinator of Shots for Shaw, said that the event completely surpassed her expectations. She said, “When I began to plan this event, I hoped to raise $1,000. The amount of support for Ashley and her family was overwhelming.” She said that there was a gift basket raffle with 27 baskets filled with different items from local businesses.
Nelson said that other highlights were when seventh grader Claire Griffin sang “You Lift Me Up” as a solo and when eighth grader Lynsy Folckomer shared words that the 8th graders came up with that described Shaw. She also said that eighth graders Kaeli Tinsley and Bergen Khare, along with Matthew Kirk, a science teacher at Brevard Middle School, shaved their heads in Ashley’s honor.
Eighth grader Ashley Shaw and star of the event said that at first, she was not really sure that the people who said they would shave their heads were actually going to do it. She said, “It was just being talked about before the event but when they did [shave their heads], it was really cool.” She also said that the event itself was very overwhelming. Shaw said, “It was really cool to see all the people there to support me, it was like the whole town was there.”
Anne Shaw, mother of Ashley Shaw, said that she was overwhelmed by the support from the community. She said, “I walked in and looked around and saw all my friends and family and was blown away. I was in awe of the community and the fact that everyone can come together for one single cause, the fact that the gym was so packed that there was standing room only, and the fact that I live in a town that gives that kind of support.” Shaw also said that Katie Gray, an English teacher and also the organizer of the raffle, and Rhiannon Matson, a social studies teacher, were amazing at putting together the event. She said, “Both of those teachers should have a future in fundraising.” Shaw also was very grateful to the businesses that donated product to the event as well. She said, “I could not think of a single business that did not donate to the event.
“A quote came to mind while at the event,” Shaw said, “and that is, ‘All for one and one for all’, because it defines our community.”